firstimpressions

{Contemporary Australian Photograms}

Reference:

National Gallery of Victoria 2003, First Impressions: Contemporary Australian Photograms, Brochure from an exhibition of the above name, Council of Trustees of the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne

This exhibition is made up of works from contemporary photogram artists.

Interesting the brochure states that they use photograms because as a medium it most suits the creative ideas the artists are trying to convey. So rather than using photograms because they like the look of them, they are using photograms because they best suit the works. Have to think about that because I use solarfast mostly because of process related concerns – the ability to cleanly get an image on to fabric – but perhaps you could say I use fabric and quilts as my medium because of the ideas of comfort and security in a hostile world. They are both more emotive and also more accessible than paint or photography. Something to keep in mind when I am writing about my work.

Also something that has come out of “Why We Quilt” a bit – The effectiveness of quilts as an art medium to convey emotion and meaning. To go beyond the craft. Perhaps I can somehow get a question or an exploration for honours out of this. It’s so hard to know what will work. (relevant to honours)

Some artists represented in the exhibition:

Ruth Maddison (relevant to painting)

Ruth Maddison.jpg

https://www.ngv.vic.gov.au/explore/collection/work/70403/       <Viewed 1 September 2020>

I hadn’t seen this before I did my face photograms but this was the type of thing I envisioned for my self portrait initially. Turned out to be difficult to achieve and certainly not on a 8 x 10 piece of paper. I wonder how many goes she had to achieve this clarity and exposure that also has a third grey tone. That comes from having her face off the paper with the points of contact being completely white and then light getting around the object to create grey. I initially tried to do this in the sun but it simply takes too long to be still on wet solarfast to create this . I did have some success a couple of years ago with cyanotype and I did my whole body and printed on both sides. Then I threw it in the washing machine and bleached the lot inadvertently. Still it was an emotive image that I could return to. Not now though because I have made my decision for the self portrait on this occasion.

Ruth Madison does work about the everyday and homely relatable portraits. Accessible and ordinary but ubiquitous in most people’s lives.

 

 

(relevant to photography)

Just had an idea how I might be able to present my idea of windows and foreground for my photography series. Perhaps I could do some photograms of objects in the darkroom and then do a two layered print with solarfast of the photogram and a photo of the view through the window only visible in the white areas of the photogram. Maybe use dense cyanotype for the photogram so I get a good white and then put solarfast in the white area and print the view. I’m not sure that the bleaching effect of solarfast on cyanotype is very strong but it can be overcome with the use of tea if necessary to return it to a dark colour. Or I could photoshop the imagery together first and just use solarfast or cyanotype.

The outside world viewed through the lens of a wine glass, coke bottle, washing powder box, nutribullet, iron, vacuum hose, cushion, hand sanitiser bottle, disinfectant can, hand weight, needs to be something that is smaller than 8 x 10. Could look through my window pictures and see what is in the foreground. There was a washer on one windowsill I know. And my little soft toys, hanging beads or wind chime, Curtains I took down. Can do a small photogram and enlarge if necessary.

Penelope Davis (relevant to sculpture)

Penelope Davis

<https://www.penelopedavis.com.au/#/penumbra/>       Viewed 1 September 2020

From an exhibition called Penumbra. A penumbra is the partially shaded area around an object. It’s a great word.  Penelope makes objects by casting using silicone and resin. Then she exposes them to create this type of photograph. I have been thinking about using my sculpture in this way to create imagery using solarfast.

The combination of soft and hard edges created in photograms of 3D objects gives an ethereal presence to the object that is hard to achieve in other ways.

Sculpture shadow.jpg

This is one that I have already done using my suspended toilet roll sculpture. Lots of problems with this but in proof of concept. Would work better to do a photogram on photo paper so it can be scanned and contrast increased to get a higher contrast print.

 

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