Lost and Found is a series of 35 photographs documenting the 35 cabinets of the pottery collection at the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, University College London.

The collection was assembled by Professor Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie (1853-1952) to be used for teaching and identification. The cabinets that house the collection are arranged typologically giving each cabinet its own aesthetic and palette. The pottery itself dates from 5,000 BC and includes both ceremonial and everyday items – a surprisingly modern and democratic approach to historical artifacts.

The photographs form a portrait of a collection. The title of the piece refers to the pottery that was created, used, lost and found centuries later, but also resonates with the collection itself: With teaching collections rarely still used for their original purpose, many are now threatened and being disbanded. The series records this pressure – the aging fluorescent lights which illuminate the cabinets give each cabinet its own colour cast which we have purposely chosen not to correct nor intervene where the lights have failed.

The photographs were taken – over a three-year period – with a custom-made camera set-up, constructed to allow the cabinets to be shot in as an objective way as possible despite the confined layout of the Museum.