Shadow Catchers


Barnes M 2012, Shadow catchers: Camera-less photography, Revised and expanded edition, Merrell Publishers Limited, London

Interesting book that is not only about photograms but other alternative methods of creating an image using photo paper.

Chemigrams have been developed by Pierre Cordier and are a way of producing imagery with developer and fixer directly applied to the photo paper in full light. Sometimes the surface of the emulsion is damaged to create patterning or masked or altered by other substances

Pierre Cordier.jpg

Image reference:      Viewed 30 August 2020


Fabian Miller uses light, cutouts,objects,water and dye destruction paper to make colourful constructed imagery over time.

A Lost Colour World

A Lost Colour World
Light, Water, Lambda C- print from dye destruction print

116.8 × 269.2 cm / 46 × 106.0 in


garry fabian miller

Image reference:     Viewed 30 August 2020

Heidi Parkes

IMG_4900 2.jpg

Heidi Parkes Artist Statement

In my work, I create a scaffolding of fabric, piecing, and quilting that allows me to reference many ideas on a single plane. The raw materials are textiles from domestic culture, fashion, family heirlooms, and scavenged prints. I integrate them with fabrics that I have embroidered, stained, dyed, or designed. These materials are pieced together to create the main imagery of the quilt, like a collage. This cloth is then beset with hand stitches, evocative of the slow process involved in construction, and functioning as a layer of ‘drawing’ on the quilts surface.

When composing a quilt I rarely adhere to a set plan, relying instead on improvisation. Remindful of color field painting, I begin my work with a feeling, place, or theme. Looking to reconstruct my world, I employ aerial views, photographic documentation, and artifacts- all the while aware that my goal is far more complex than the visual of a single point in time. The moments I choose to replicate are unique to me, and simultaneously innumerable in the lives of others.

Like so many women before her, my maternal grandmother planned a collaborative quilt to celebrate my birth, and introduced me to the art of quilting. My work continues a family tradition, but congruently incorporates new information from varied quilting traditions, and my multidisciplinary training in art. Often inspired by painters, I feel an artistic connection with Mark Rothko, Gerhard Richter, Mark Bradford, Julie Mehretu, Cy Twombly, Agnes Martin, William Kentridge, El Anatsui, Do Ho Suh, the quilts of Gee’s Bend, and the Japanese aesthetic of Wabi-Sabi.     Viewed 30 August 2020

Heidi Parkes.jpg     Viewed 30 August 2020

Still looking for my “companions” for my honours project. This woman’s practice is quilt making in an art context. And on the side she also does visible mending for money. A great idea.

I think the difference from traditional quilters here is in the statement above. Heidi seems to be approaching her quilt making from a art perspective. She is connecting herself to artists in other disciplines and is putting content into her work via the imagery and the medium in the way of artists. She approaches stitch as a means of drawing and cloth as a means of painting and collaging.


Mood painting

mood painting.jpg

My word was lush and I was trying to go for deep purples, blues, greens and gold. Everything had complementary in it. Not sure about the gold ceiling.


I’ve tried to enrich the colours a bit here because I think lush refers to texture and depth of colour. Haven’t succeeded well. Have tried to get red but still have orange. Can’t waste any more ink. Could do the whole thing again but would rather get on with what I’m doing for self portrait.

Self portrait 3

Struggling with this. I was looking forward to it but now I can’t seem to get anything that looks evocative or interesting.

Digitally planned this:

Idea here was a resilient core with the fragmented image drifting a bit but remaining tether to the core. Core is slightly to the right as it continues to move forward. selfportrait3.jpgselfportrait3

but the execution is much more difficult. I have printed out a few of these on thin fabric and you can’t see through it and they just sit on top looking blah….

I was thinking of this as a collage but as soon as I start this I realise I don’t like the raw edges and the saggy fabric. There is something about the quilt format that I gravitate to. I’m not a textile artist relishing drape of fabric. I am interested in evoking mood with juxtaposition of colour and line. I think before Thursday I will cut these up and rejoin using a simple block of some sort. Maybe a log cabin type around the core? Centre assymetrical? Looking at the work of Thomas Knauer and realised that I am perhaps straying too far from my quilting roots and perhaps that’s why it’s not appealing to me so much. I enjoy doing pieced quilts and the idea was always to print fabric to use in quilts. I have moved a long way from that and maybe I need to move back.

Thomas Knauer       Viewed 27 August 2020

Now I have roughly pieced some of the squares after cutting them and giving them a hard edge. I was thinking of the grid as containing fragments but there is lots wrong with this. The colour of the grid is dominant and not allowing the imagery to be seen. It’s also too wide and the idea of a resilient core is lost in the cutting up of the “core”. The fabric is too thin and doesn’t hold the imagery well. There was pleasure in the sewing though.


Moving on I have now composed something more in the pattern of a pieced quilt.

Multiple photograms done directly in the darkroom

photograms face.jpg

selfport3mock2 copy

I am planning to use dyed cotton sateen to get the grey which will be pieced between the images. The grey grid should stand proud as I will fold both edges in to that and then sew the image down flat a bit recessed. The single grey square will be pieced in but will still show because it will be bordered as the rest of them are.


I forgot to invert in the image above. I like the way the face looks more like shadow when I do.

My background is green instead of grey. I can try again or maybe I will think about painting neutral sashings in grey. A light wash of acrylic will stiffen and make the grid appear more rigid. I’m wondering about painting after sewing. It shouldn’t bleed once it is sewn in place. The sewing will define. Excited to try this.

Feedback from Group:

Seemed to clarify in my mind that the repetition could be thought of as sticking with it, keeping on, in the context of resilience. The grid is enduring and underpinning the softer faces. Ambiguity around the face being a face. Anyway seemed ok and I think I will now move it forward to completion. No mention of it being a quilt. Yvette did suggest maybe there could be another layer over the top but I’m not sure what that would look like. I’m going to change to silk/wool with visible weave now for my grey because I can at least get the colour I want that way. Green will be put aside for another project. The silk wool won’t have the smoothness but it will have a different strong twill like texture that also resonates with metal grid.

Later I thought about how Yvette had asked me if the number of repetitions meant anything. I hadn’t thought other than laying out a portrait shape compositions with an odd number. Now I’m thinking I could add an extra layer by making it mean something.

28 years I’ve had this stress so 28 it will be. That will be for rows of seven but the missing grey square will mean that there will be a bottom row of only one. I hope that suggests that this continues on.


I won’t have that block of grey to the right of the last image but couldn’t work out in photoshop how to crop odd shapes. Yet. Maybe I’ll try again later.








Thomas Knauer

Has written a book called Why we Quilt, that has works from a number of quilt artists and discusses the meaning around these. Thomas Knauer produces quilts with two themes – activism around gun violence in America- and living with his chronic illness.

I’m really struggling with my painting and I realise when I look at his work that I am drawn to the pieced quilt. Something about chopping up the fabric or print and reproducing it in a somehow better form.

I’m trying to find  people working with quilts in more of an art context and he may be one of these. Think I’ll get the book because it is recent and has a number of contemporary names in it that may also be people I can look at. In the meantime I’ll go chop up my self portrait prints and rejoin them in some way…..

Thomas Knauer.jpg       Viewed 25 August 2020

Pinhole photos

Week six lecture was about war photography and a discussion about truth in photography. We looked at Frank Hurley’s composite photo and one of his non composite ones and discussed. A lot of people seemed quite determined that truth was necessary making the composite photo a worse one. I think that of the two photos the non composite photo was a gentler more emotive photo, but I’m not sure that this was because of its supposed ‘truthfulness’. I think it was just the composition and content of the photo ,and the fact that there was a slightly unreal sense to the other photo – not because it was untrue, because it was not – all the photos were real and somewhere that would have happened- but because of the manual composition. Nowadays a photo could be created in photoshop with completely correct size and perspective and it would lose that unreal sense. But also the content made it a less interesting photo to me, but again not because it was not truth.

Interestingly there was talk of the uncanny which I hadn’t really heard of before. Somewhere between real and surreal. Mentioned in painting too.

Pinhole photos taken around the house looking from inside to outside.


kitchen northmusic room southtable eastTv roomtablecouchkitchen sinkFront doorMusic room west

Lots of issues with exposure. A lot were very over exposed and likely to only need about five to twenty mins looking out the window but a lot of variation. I have edited these in photoshop and I was surprised at how much detail I could get out of these but it would be much better to be able to get correct exposure.

I have also tried printing through the photo itself. Cyanotype didn’t work at all after a few hours so I did a few hours of solartype over the top. Hence the strong border.

music room west print.jpg

Detail is lost but I can still make out and I might be able to expose even longer to get better. This was about seven hours close up under four lights.  Also print on smoother fabric might get a sharper print although I quite like the soft fabric. I’m interested in the cyanotype border. Adds a crispness to the image as a whole.



Cornelia Parker

Cornelia Parker.jpg          Viewed 23 August 2020

Cornelia ParkerCold Dark Matter: An Exploded View, 1991. Installation view, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, 2019. Blown up garden shed and contents, wire, light bulb. Tate: Presented by the Patrons of New Art (Special Purchase Fund) through the Tate Gallery Foundation 1995. Image courtesy the artist, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia and Frith Street Gallery, London. Photograph: Anna Kučera

Sadly I went into the Museum of Contemporary art last December when I was in Sydney but I was too stingy to pay to get in to this exhibition. If I had known what I would find I think I might have forked out the money.

Cornelia Parker works in sculptural works that sometimes have an element of destruction. In this work apparently the shadows were a happy accident when the work was assembled but obviously form an intrinsic part of the work.

The everyday objects that may be found in a shed are suspended forever in time at the moment of explosion. To me it has the sense of the last moments of something being contained and together. And the shadows on the wall reflect the future as the individual parts move further away.

I’m interested in the potential of suspended sculpture and the shadows it could cast for use in my solarfast and cyanotype work. Images could be manipulated based on the direction of the light source. I think I’ll make a small sculpture for my suspended sculpture so I can use it suspended below my UV lamps and make a print as well.

I was always thinking of sculpture as a way to make imagery on fabric.

Self portrait 2


This is a second attempt. I tried to get an actual photogram on the fabric but it was unsuccessful and all that remains is that slightly paler area at the top of my head. Then I used a mask of a photo and ended up with this which looks odd floating there and looks like a cameo.

My idea was to stitch a wire contour core under the skin.

Feedback was that this whole thing looked flat and just like representation of my face. Warm element with fabric. I agree it’s uninteresting with flat picture plane.

I have finished the stitching and turned it on its side, which makes for a more visually interesting image but not saying what I intended, and perhaps not saying much at all.


Things I have learnt out of this are technical things. I bagged this up so it met the requirement for a quilt and I did this but sewing the batting which was canvas in the centre to give stiffness. It is sewn through the back to hold it in place so I didn’t need to sew it into the edge seams and that gives a flatter neater result.  which sharper corner points.

Other things that were discussed was how the wall as a whole was coming together.


Yvette mentioned Sally Smart as someone to look at.

Sally Smart     Viewed 15 Aug 2020

Sally Smart

Sally Smart does large scale installations as sometimes with performance, that are collaged on to the wall.

Sally Smart – Family Tree House (Shadows and Symptoms) 

I imagine thinking about the meanings of the world; inevitably the discourse begins with the body, a forensic activity, an external and internal examination of the body environment: clothes, house, furniture, landscape. This becomes an anatomy lesson; where dissected parts are examined and reconstructions are made for explanations. Inevitably the conclusion is like a puzzle-picture: a maze of fugitive parts; landscape parts become human parts: but whether the lines, shapes and colours appear abstract or representational there is an assemblage of parts. However, the composition is unstable, a chimera: the picture is impaired. 

Sally Smart 


SmartS, No update date given, Writing, Viewed 15 August 2020


This is an interesting quote from Sally Smart’s website which resonates a bit with my inclination to investigate everyday objects and details of life, and also my quilting tendency to assemblage. However it is not the aesthetic look I would go for. Colour is important to my work and these hard edged collages with white background seem a bit prosaic for me. I want my work to be a bit more ethereal with emotive colour. I’m struggling to achieve this in a quilt like assemblage but I may be more successful with layering thinner fabrics. I’ve just got some silk cotton and silk voile so maybe that will be the answer!! I have a new idea that I’m going to experiment with and that will be in the next painting post.

Cecile Dachary

I’m interested in crochet sculpture and found this artist in a book called Unravelled, Contemporary knit art by Charlotte Vannier.

Her work is crochet with twine and often references the body, memories and emotions.   Looking through this book it seems that knit and crochet artists often have either a feminist agenda, which doesn’t interest me much, or their work is presented in a comic way.

I am most interested in artists who are using crochet more because it is an amazingly flexible, accessible and aesthetic medium. And artists that are not necessarily referencing its female associations.  It can be freeform with plenty of room to adjust along the way and to extend or unpick the work to create anything that can be imagined or evolved.

Cecile Dachary.jpg

Vannier C, 2018, Unravelled : Contemporary Knit Art, Thames and Hudson Ltd, London, p 99.