Photography was a messy and time consuming practice in the late 1800s and Julia had trouble finding subjects for her tableaux – once she locked a lady in the cupboard under the stairs until she agreed to sit for her!
Gifted her first camera by her daughter when she moved to Dimbola aged 48, Julia went on to become one of the few women making photographs in the late 19th century (1864–1875). Coating the glass plates with wet collodion, Julia developed them by hand in a glass ‘chicken house’ to the rear of Dimbola.
Just above the bay, with views to the famous ‘Stag’ and ‘Mermaid’ rocks, Dimbola has a permanent exhibition to JMC as well as an homage to the huge 1970 Pop Festival that attracted over 600,000 peace lovers to nearby Afton.
Visiting photographic exhibitions appear in the galleries upstairs and there is a room decorated as Julia’s bedroom, complete with the William Morris wallpaper that she liked. Cameras like those she would have used are to the rear of the room, along with descriptions of how the process was done.
Downstairs are a well-stocked gift shop and a photographic themed café with lunches, teas and yummy cake stand and there’s small tea garden and a second hand book shop.
Outside in the garden you must take a ‘selfie’ or photo with the statue of Jimi Hendrix – the famous musician played his last live performance at the 1970 Pop Festival before his death that September.