Updated: Feb 1
At the beginning of the course, I intended to showcase a series of prints or photographic works about forests, trees, their wood and the memory they contain, Exploring themes of nature and landscape in the process as areas of interest.
A brief look at the initial brainstorming stage.
I accomplished these tasks by using various methods. Using both practical and theoretical knowledge to progress. Using research methods gathered and learnt whilst reading "Illustration Research Methods" by Rachel Gannon.
Researching INTO the subject using critical studies of practices, historical studies and past collections etc. This includes artist research, both primary and secondary research and imagery, analysis of past art collections and gallery visits. (This is all documented within my research folder, to be presented upon request).
Researching THROUGH performing the acts of printmaking and/or photography as processes, developing ideas and works along with experimentation. This experimentation took place in the form of wet cyanotypes and illustration pieces.
As documented within weeks 3 & 4, 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. I wanted to create something which was almost ghost like, etched onto a surface to depict the memory aspect of my project. A ghost image of course, portraying a memory or what I depict as a memory fading. 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.
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 viewed walking and recording as a way to unearth stories about the landscape around me. These images were then edited and printed larger onto acetate sheets. These images were then used during the cyanotype process.
ACTION RESEARCH: I achieved this by testing ideas, attending peer group discussions, visiting exhibitions, practice led research. (All can be found within my research folder)
Researching FOR, by collecting source materials and acquiring techniques and skills to produce outcomes. (Gathering both primary and secondary research and attending workshops).
Cyanotype On Wood Experiments/Final Pieces.
I aimed to demonstrate my development and progression through the presence of an online blog/WordPress as well as my visual progression which has been stored within sketchbooks and workbooks throughout the module as evidence. (Can be supplied). I achieved this and these are coherent and available for referencing as and where necessary. I have also produced a 1500-word reflective review alongside my online and visual documentations. To be submitted on the 1st of December 2022.
Methods of working: Studio work, printmaking workshops, research visits, trips to galleries and exhibitions, creative/critical writing, location drawing, field trips, sketchbook development, WordPress, (Blog updates)
Concertina Booklet of Tree Textures
I developed an idea during the initial design stage of creating a booklet of forests/trees. After experimenting with the cyanotype process, (as stated above). I wanted to create this concept and achieved it by individually creating pages of the book by using my primary imagery as a starting point. This was the outcome.
Cyanotype Illustration pieces
I also developed the idea of combining illustration and cyanotype processes together. By creating cyanotype backgrounds using found objects during my fieldtrips, I developed beautiful backgrounds to which I could then add to or develop into a final piece. Blocking out areas of the page using shapes such as circles and ovals inspired by the tree's rings and natural features. I then sketched and illustrated a design over the top of these backgrounds. These drawings were done on location, whilst in the countryside in order to capture their true beauty and natural perspective.