Hannah Jeacock

Lost and Found: Exploring the Role of Online Art Spaces and the Potential for an Online Art Venue for Found Photography

Lost+found, Research Paper, 2020

Six individuals pictured standing distanced from each other, 1940's Black and white photograph
“Social Distancing Before Social Distancing” (1940’s, Found Photography) – lostfoundphoto.com

With the ever-growing rise in the popularity of photography, there is a growingly large side-effect – the amassing of a vast body of images whose photographers, subjects, and purposes remain unknown. Many of these lost, unclaimed, or disposed of photographs are some could-be showpieces and uncountable amounts of everyday vernacular snapshots. Every day thousands of photographs are misplaced and discarded, they often end up losing their history and having their stories erased. These photographs can find their way into the hands of artists and collectors alike, who share a curiosity into the origins of the forgotten and found photographs.

Unearthing the original meaning and context of found photographs can sometimes be impossible with little to no information on its original narrative. It is the unknown of these photographs that creates a curiosity, that provokes memories, and a desire to create your own narratives from the visual clues held in the object of the photograph. For many, it is the endless unknown that surrounds found photography that intrigues them. It is the familiarity of the vernacular snapshots which invites the audience in, whilst still being elusive.

Figure with child sat on their shoulders, walking behind their dog towards the sea.
“Until the sky meets the sea” (Early 2000’s on 35mm, Found Photography)
– lostfoundphoto.com

It is my curiosity for found photography which has driven my research project forward – exploring the role online art spaces play in the creation and dissemination of art, and what this means for the audience, the artist, and the art institutions. Whilst also influencing the creation of an online venue for found photography – Lost and Found.

Lost and Found has been created to act as a digital archive for found photographs. A place to celebrate and question the curiosities which surround found photography. It is an online community-driven project, working to create a space that generates conversation, questions, and curiosity. Lost and Found acts as an archive of people – a visual documentation of life. 


A visual artist, frequently working with found photography, archival imagery, and alternative photographic methods to explore questions of identity and ownership, whilst celebrating the mundane and vernacular. My creative practice supports my continued research into the role of the art venue – both physical and virtual – in how we create and disseminate art.






Arts and Project Management