Updated: Feb 1
Week beginning: 17th October 2022
Terminology and Positioning Myself
This week I explored the relevant course terminology and started exploring art practices related to both photography and printmaking, with my theme in mind. This blogpost will document both my research findings/notes and processes I developed over the coming week. I'll begin with documenting the terminology.
Multidisciplinary draws on knowledge from people from different disciplines working together, each drawing on their disciplinary knowledge but staying within their boundaries.
Interdisciplinary is applied within education and training pedagogies to describe studies that use methods and insights of several established disciplines or traditional fields of study. Interdisciplinarity involves researchers, students, and teachers in the goals of connecting and integrating several academic schools of thought, professions, or technologies - along with their specific perspectives - in the pursuit of a common task.
Transdisciplinary connotes a research strategy that crosses many disciplinary boundaries to create a holistic approach. It applies to research efforts focused on problems that cross the boundaries of two or more disciplines and can refer to concepts or methods that were originally developed by one discipline, but are now used by several others, such as ethnography, a field research method originally developed in anthropology but now widely used by other disciplines.
After the lecture, I was assigned a task in which I was to position myself within one of the three disciplinaries above.
How do you define your position?
I would currently at the time of writing this, define my position as Multidisciplinary. As I am currently drawing on knowledge from people from different disciplines and working together with them. Drawing knowledge from disciplines of photography especially. Contextualizing my current practice, working within the disciplines of both photography and printmaking combined.
Considering if your practice might change in relation to the current ideas you are proposing in your Learning Plan?
It is possible my practice may change in relation to my current ideas proposed in my learning plan, this is purely due to external factors such as time and weather conditions. (Cyanotypes needing sunlight and UV lighting of course) My ideas are more than likely going to change and develop as the course progresses as I’m not only going to be focusing on alternative photography process but printmaking also.
Researching THROUGH practice
I have begun experimentation with various alternative photography methods, mainly cyanotypes processes. Including experiments on paper, handmade papers and wood. Below I have documented my processes and thinking.
1) I began by experimenting with cyanotypes on differing paper types and using found objects, collected whilst out exploring the countryside and local areas. I originally had the idea of creating many photographic pieces, almost a cyanotype forest built up by using found barks and wood chippings etc., connecting the pieces together in a possible booklet format, (this is still a possible idea I may come back to and explore further.) I wanted to create something which was almost ghost like, etched onto a surface to depict the memory aspect but I felt a booklet idea was a bit too formal for what I was trying to portray. A ghost image of course, portraying a memory or what I depict as a memory fading. Below are some experiments, created using a range of different papers, some of which are homemade.
2) Having experimented with paper, I decided the next step was to experiment with wood. During my fieldtrips into the countryside and local areas, I found many tree cuttings, bark and loose pieces of wood, some of which exposed the rings within the fallen pieces of trees.
This led me to explore capturing an image within the tree piece itself using the rings and the inside of the tree as a canvas. This not only helped convey my theme perfectly but made me think, "this is a perfect representation of trees and the memories they obtain". If trees were indeed capable of thinking, of holding a memory, why couldn't it be a photographic memory? displaying images of what they once knew? I initially prepared the items, sanding and bleaching the exposed wood before coating with the cyanotype chemicals.
3) After the pieces were prepped, I began experimenting with what kind of imagery I could use during the process. Whilst out on my fieldtrips I took several photographs, initially digital photographs using my mobile phone and then I moved to analogue photography techniques. After capturing these photographs of trees and the canopy above, I developed the films and created contact sheets. I then chose which images might work best and scanned the negatives into my computer. These were then converted onto black and white and reverted into both positive and negative images. In order for me to explore which worked best during the cyanotype process. I found critically engaging with my environment through playful and experimental means helped influence my creative journey, it inspired me to develop my ideas further, from 2D to 3D. I almost view walking and recording as a way to unearth stories that live in the locations being traversed.
4) These images were then edited and printed larger onto acetate sheets. This of course allows me to use them during a range of printmaking and alternative photography techniques including cyanotypes and anthotypes.
5) The above images were then used during the cyanotype process. You can view an in-depth documentation of the cyanotype process here, for referencing. A Guide To Cyanotypes (adamtheartist1.com)
The outcomes were much better than I expected, the exposure times varied due to the weather conditions and some wood pieces worked better than others, but overall, the process worked extremely well. This is definitely something I wish to continue with during the course of the module. Maybe creating a series of wooden pieces in an installation? The possibilities are endless. I will now take this idea and develop it further and expand on it during the weeks to come, making sure I document the process and my findings within my sketchbooks/online blog and my 1500-word reflective review.