Cyanotype is a photographic process that has been around for over 150 years. It uses a light-sensitive solution and ultra violet light to create vibrant blue prints.
With New Zealand in various levels of lockdown, 2021 was the perfect opportunity to experiment with this alternative process. Now, I am completely in love with the medium and its possibilities.
My background and university studies are in photography, and I am an artist who has always practiced using 35mm film. I decided to repurpose my extensive library of New Zealand imagery – the country is intensely, exquisitely photographic – and experiment with how Cyanotype might transpose their look and feel, converting my achieved negatives to Cyanotype ones.
Cyanotype as a form is romantically unpredictable. Using the sun as my UV source means that each printing session is different. Each negative has its own character, and this allows for their individual idiosyncrasies to be revealed.
They were a delight to make, especially on the cool, yet sunny, winter days.
I find it hard to pinpoint what the precise change is in the look of the images. One metaphor might be transposing a song from a minor to a major key. The idea remains the same, but its execution and the emotion it creates are very different.
To me, each image is beautiful in its own way, and there is a kind of wonder and harmony in using the sun as my manifesting medium.
Cyanotype feels like a living and connecting process that brings me closer to both my subject, and my audience.