Apparition in the Gardens
Cyanotype on Fabriano Rosaspina paper
45cm x 45cm
“Blue colour is everlastingly appointed by the deity to be a source of delight” – John Ruskin
Cyanotype is not a common art medium. It is an alternative photographic process dating back to the 1840s that does not require a camera. Basically it is the old blueprint process – although not too many will remember that – but if you do you will probably remember architectural drawings in white on a deep Prussian Blue background. Blueprints were eventually superseded by photocopying. In theory the cyanotype method is a very simple technique, but in practice it can be rather frustrating due to variations in light, temperature, humidity, length of exposure and type of paper.
There is always some serendipity involved. One of my favourites of my own cyanotypes is Apparition in the Gardens. I placed the camisole on the coated paper, placed some glass on top to keep it in place – and I just wasn’t getting what I wanted. I used another piece of coated (and expensive) printmaking paper, left the glass off and let the camisole gently move with the eddy of air – which gave me this lovely ghostly image.
When it works – it is magical.