Hand embroidery on colour photograph
57 cm x 77 cm
Well, not a cyanotype, but an embroidered photograph. Safe Passage is currently travelling with the CQU Creates exhibition – it has been to Rockhampton and Gladstone and is currently at the School of Arts, Bundaberg. Next week it will go north to the Central Queensland Conservatorium of Music, CQUniversity Mackay and will be on exhibition from the 24th to the 26th. I was quite excited that one of my works was going ‘on tour’, and even more excited when CQUniversity bought my work for their collection. Of course, I will miss it from my dining room wall.
This is my first photographic cyanotype. I’d taken the photograph of my granddaughters, Isabella and Sophia, so needed to make a negative of it before I could print it as a cyanotype. I can’t remember now whether I changed the photo to a black and white in Adobe Camera Raw or in Photoshop, but it was one or the other. I had read somewhere that you could make the perfect cyanotype ‘curve’ to get the perfect negative, however I also read conflicting ways of doing so. I tried altering my photograph with one of the ‘curves’ but not with any success. Actually it was a complete disaster with most of the image just not there. Maybe I needed to alter the negative, not the positive? This was something I needed to delve further into. I forgot about the curve and made a simple negative using the ‘inverse’ command in Photoshop, saved my file to a memory stick and went off to Officeworks to have an A3 transparency printed. They’d run out of A3 transparencies. I wasn’t having a lot of luck. I settled for A4 and got two, as in general the ink isn’t dense enough to work well so I double them up. Basically it worked – not perfectly – but it did work with around 8 minutes exposure in bright sun. When I sort out the mystery of the ‘curve’ I hope that I can get a greater tonal range, but in the mean time I am happy enough with my first photographic cyanotype.