A small number of GCSE and A Level Art students, along with several members of the Young Curators Project were invited to an exclusive evening workshop with professional guest artist Laura Hickman in which they were to explore alternative artistic techniques.
Laura is a regional artist who specialises in the employment of vintage photographic and exposure techniques, resulting in ghostly and otherworldly x-ray like prints featuring layered objects and items. Her work is currently on display within Evoke Gallery as part of the current Appearance V Reality exhibition as developed by the Young Curators.
During a practical session Laura introduced the students to the background and history of Photogram techniques whilst providing varying demonstrated examples of the differing creative paths and avenues that students may wish to explore with the particular Cyanotype method being employed within the session. This particular technique required the use of a pre-prepared specialist paper, above which a range of oblique and translucent objects and images can be arranged and placed. When this paper is then appropriately secured and latterly exposed to light, these objects and images leave an impression upon the paper much like a print.
Differing thicknesses of paper, levels of light, transparency of objects and speed of exposure along with alternate compositions can produce very different results, meaning a very experimental and creative process for the students.
Students were provided with a range of supplied natural objects, and were able to select their own additional images in order to relate their work to any in class projects. Following exposure outside in the summer sunshine, designs were brought inside, washed and hung to dry in order to finalise the photographic result.
The workshop offered a unique opportunity to explore the experimental effects and processes of photography in and organic manner that did not require the use of a dark room, and many participants hope to use the technique again following the provision of materials to the school.
Post by Mr. G. Weston