A name derived from the Greek goddess of daylight, Hemera is a curatorial collective specialising in photography and lens-based media.  We are a team of five photography historians with a diverse range of research interests, experienced in researching, discovering, archiving, and exhibiting historical and contemporary artworks. As many historic collections are becoming digitized and made accessible, Hemera seeks to inspire curiosity, exhibit, and interpret works of interest that might otherwise be lost within archives. We also aspire to open up diverse photographic practices to wider audiences, by providing a platform for emerging practitioners.

Often exhibiting beyond the structure of an established institution, our philosophy is to be open to collaboration. We believe that working together and sharing knowledge and ideas is the way to bring forward the most engaging projects.

A brief history

In 2012, Ashley Lumb founded Hemera in a small, attic study room at the University of St Andrews with her fellow History of Photography researchers Hazel Johnson and Fangfei Chen. The impetus for forming the group was the realisation that the esteemed photographic archive that the University of St Andrews owns, was not being shown much to the public. Hemera wanted to bring this, and other archives, to life and to the wider world, which lead to our first exhibition on the Valentines’ collection, which was made possible through St. Andrews’ generous support. Soon after Hemera’s inception, we took on scholars that have specialised in the history of photography, contemporary photography, and curating, and that lead to Kay Waston, Jaime Marie Davis, and Claire Reece joining the collective. Since our inception, we have curated six exhibitions on a range of topics which can be seen on the Exhibitions page and have several others in development.

Hemera continuously transforms ideas into exhibitions, lectures, give tours (Frieze and the London Art Fair 2014), and creates online research projects. In 2014, we were selected to join the Board of Trustee’s for the Brighton Photo Fringe, and our proposal for an exhibition on feminist photography was selected from a pool of 180 applicants to exhibit at the Finnish Museum of Photography in 2015. We recently extended our reach beyond the core group and now include a network of researchers and curators, and have also just launched the London Photography Diary, a website to promote the photographic arts in London. All of these projects can be viewed further in this website.