CLOSE UP: Kit Martin- Catalogue of Curiosities

Cyanotype print of an outstretched wing of a bird. The species is unknown, as the museumspecimen that was photographed was not labelled.

© Kit Martin- Aves II

Shutter Hub member Kit Martin is a photographer whose work is inspired by and sometimes actually made from the natural world. She enjoys collaboration and works with natural history collections in museums as well as on her own out at the seashore and experimenting in her garage darkroom.

Kit is very concerned about biodiversity loss and is a member of various invertebrate conservation groups and gets involved with citizen science. She is currently learning about and participating Scotland’s Just and Green Recovery from Covid and is keen on the restoration of ecosystems (or rewilding).


Cyanotype print of a fruit bat skeleton framed and hanging above an old wooden box with butterfly and other specimens in it.

© Kit Martin- Pteropus giganteus (Indian fruit bat); Front cover of catalogue.

‘At the moment I find it hard to discuss myself and my work, because it is all up in the air. I will always be interested in darkroom processes and in natural history and will get back to these in a more peaceful and thoughtful way sometime, but for now I think it is mostly about scattered thinking and learning, organising work and using up things I have around me.’

Catalogue of curiosities came about through her talking to a printmaker friend who, because her annual winter open studio couldn’t happen as it usually does, put together an excellent digital brochure of work. Since she too had an open studio and art market events cancelled and with other projects on hold, she decided to get busy making her own.


Cyanotype print of sea eagle skeleton framed and hanging on a wall above a cabinet with butterfly specimens and a potted pilea plant on it.

© Kit Martin- Dense light; Page of catalogue.

‘I spent a very full and frantic two weeks agonisingly organising and photographing work that I have languishing in my workroom and darkroom. There was a surprising amount not yet photographed, mainly cyanotypes and lumens – an annoying weakness of mine. What a satisfying process for an extremely unorganised person.

The part I really enjoyed was staging scenes in the house to show some work in situ. I got my big studio lights out for the first time in a long time and knocked holes in the wall when my husband wasn’t looking. I have a collection of butterflies from a second-hand shop and various wings, skulls and eggs (not taken from nests, I promise) as well as some old boxes and insects that I have collected (dead), inexpertly pinned and displayed in tiny domes. These became props and I had a lovely time, for a few days feeling busy and fruitful again.’


The result is a digital catalogue that brings together work she has made over the past few years for specific exhibitions and projects as well as to experiment and learn. There are cyanotype editions, original seashore cyanotypes and argyrotypes, lumen prints, digital open editions and fabric wall hangings. All have links with the natural world that she cares deeply about.


A large square abstract cyanotype print made up of three unique prints that have been made at the sea shore. The end result evokes a female face neck and shoulders.

© Kit Martin-Mistress of the fishes I

On the left is a photomontage showing a garden tiger moth repeated in a circular pattern. On the right are a number of circles on a black background showing parts of wildflowers that have been photographed through a magnifying glass. Some are quite abstract.

© Kit Martin- Garden tiger moth & Macro circles; Linen wall hangings.

A purple orange and yellow hued lumen print of a wildflower, showing the full plant including roots.

© Kit Martin- Lumen VI


To have a look at the whole catalogue, email Kit or message her through Instagram and she will send you a pdf.

See Kit’s Shutter Hub portfolio here, to find out more about her work, and visit her website here.



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