The Herd, 2012
Tasha Lewis is from Indianapolis, USA, and her cyanotype work is just extraordinary. She has certainly taken cyanotype right into the third dimension. The above installation is part of The Herd, her 2012 exhibition at the Napoleon Gallery, Philadelphia. Lewis hand sews her cyanotype printed fabric onto animal forms and uses strong magnets to install the animals on glass panels. Have a look at her web site – she has other wonderful installations.
The Swarm, 2012
Just love her butterflies. The butterfly installations started in 2012 and continue. Lewis says: “My goal is to create a very ephemeral public spectacle toeing the line between subversive and lyrical” and this she does beautifully as part of her Public Guerrilla Installations.
I was pottering around Pinterest the other day – looking for something inspiring on cyanotypes – so was quite excited to come across the work of Robert Rauschenberg. Not that I wasn’t aware of Rauschenberg – I just wasn’t aware that he did cyanotypes. Rauschenberg was introduced to the process by Susan Weil in 1949 when they were both students at Black Mountain College, North Carolina.
Rauschenberg made this cyanotype, Untitled, in 1951. It is obvious from the above that the model lay on coated sheets of paper with sprigs of foliage and that the work was done inside, by moving a light around to develop the emulsion.
The exposed print was rinsed in a shower bath. That is Susan Weil (who was his wife at the time) helping.
And, although it might not be technically perfect, what a delightful print they have made.
Sources for images and text: http://www.tate.org.uk/context-comment/articles/vaporous-fantasies and http://magazine.sevendays-in.com/125/lultima-cianografia-di-bob-rauschenberg/
Beach Debris 2003 cyanotype on paper, mounted on wood, ten panels, 108-1/2 x 25-3/4 inches
Robin Hill hails from New York and Nova Scotia and is certainly one of my favourite cyanotype artists. Robin collects various discarded objects – and then uses them to make her wonderful big cyanotype installations. I think the one above was made from beach flotsam. I’m just impressed by the size of it and how it all fits together.
In an interview with Ron Janowich for Art Critical, Robin Hill explained some of her fascination with cyanotype by saying “What the cyanotype records is the quality of translucence and opacity in a material, and also the distance the material is from the paper and any shadow it cast”. She also went on to explain that a cyanotype explored more than what could be seen with the naked eye. It is neither microscopic or a magnification, but a one-to-one ratio of the object itself.
Source: http://www.artcritical.com/2006/10/01/robin-hill-multiplying-the-variations/ and http://www.othervoices.org/3.1/rhill/index.php
Cyanotype on Arches paper. 24 x 31 cm
Cyanotype is usually thought of as a camera-less photographic process. There is also something intriguing about using an old process – and something equally intriguing about combining it with newer ones. At its most simplest an object is laid directly onto an emulsion coated paper and put in the sun. After exposure the print is washed and hung out to dry. Despite being a cameraless photograph, my camera is often involved in creating images for cyanotypes. Both photographs and scanner images have been manipulated in Photoshop, printed out, retouched by traditional pen and ink, maybe even some ‘cut and paste’ artwork employed, and then photocopied onto acetate. Fernery 1 is based on the floor plan of the Hugo Lassen Fern House in the Rockhampton Botanical Gardens – some Maidenhair Fern (no I didn’t pinch it from the fern house!) was lain directly onto the scanner to obtain my initial image. Other images have been photographed and negatives printed. Many artists are using old photographic film as their negative. So even though it may be a camera-less process, there are many occasions when a camera may be involved.