Group Crit Photography

Had the group crit today and it went quite well. Very interesting seeing people’s work.

Martin liked the delicacy and ambiguity of the pinhole printed direct on to fabric.

I could probably bring it up and redo pinhole to make delicate raw silk photos like this and maybe I will try.

I prefer this print which is done with a transparency on cotton sateen. I even think that the way the solarfast was applied adds a distress to the image.

Martin liked the juxtaposition of these two images. He felt like the above image gave some context to the lower image. I don’t want to just use digital imagery though even though it is a digital submission. So he suggested maybe printing the top one on fabric too. I won’t get the rich black though. It would be good in cyanotype which is high contrast. I’ll try that first. I think I’ll use the overlays as my final work but combine it with positives of the overlay.

Fly on the left is a cyanotype negative and then an avocado solar fast positive followed by bleaching with washing powder (overdone) and then reestablished image with tea bags. I’m not sure why the photos are not as vivid as the original photo. They changed when I moved them on to a canvas to arrange as two. Not sure why. PS said something about photos being a different depth?

Overlay photos and photograms

Used these two photos inverted and then printed individually on fabric with solarfast.

Need to start assembling a powerpoint to upload for my presentation next week.

Will show pinholes, these photogram combos and I’m doing some sunlight on photopaper photograms. Not sure what that is called, maybe lumigraphs or something like that. As the only person who reads my blog Carolyn maybe you know what I’m talking about – the year long pinhole photo done on paper in a tin that they didn’t develop but gave a sort of pinky blue photo of the movement of the sun that then needs to be scanned to preserve.

Lomography-Justin Quinnell-that’s who I was thinking of.

Solargraphy he seems to call it


{Contemporary Australian Photograms}


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       <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

<>       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.


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

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.



Photography Week three- Survey and Story

Stephen Shore video – How to see

Take away from that for me was that with your normal vision the subject is always in the centre. Your fovea is a very small central area on the retina which is what sees colour and is the only area of vision that is sharp when you look at something. The idea of a bigger form is built up from lots of tiny central snippets put together in your brain.

A bit like cubism where all the snippets are assembled from different viewpoints, and then your brain is asked to put that together to suggest a form.

This sort of assembly of image suits well with my way of working in regard to a quilting background and wanting to work with fabric.

Berndt and Hilla Becker 

Lots of series of water towers and other industrial structures photographed in a way that seemed to isolate them from the environment with white sky and flat light and no people.

Nan Goldin

The Ballad of sexual dependency

Lots of photographs taken of her friends and people she lived with in interior environments. Nan Goldin took photos with many different cameras and believed ‘Content is important rather than quality of photographs’. They have the feel of old polaroid photos with the focus not completely sharp and the colours not necessarily true. This adds to the feeling of nostalgia, something lost or in the past.

Sally Mann

Series based on photos of her husband who was slowly dying of MS. That knowledge adds to the emotive quality of the photographs and the bare flesh adds to intimacy.


Continuing with Covid Toes Triptych:


covid toes progress.jpg

Nearly completed. All that remains is to turn in the edges with the same material as the central dividers. I don’t really like the wrinkles although they fit with the tired and worn nature of the subject.


Need to move on to Diptych. Wasn’t sure that I had to do both but seems we do.

Bricks and Mortar

This will be my subject for the diptych. Our house is brick built by a person who took a lot of pride in making things neat and strong and right. It is the proverbial brick shit house. In this covid time our home has become even more important than before. We have been finding new things to appreciate about it and are very grateful that we have this well built sanctuary.

I’m thinking I want to try photograms for this. Probably layered photograms.

For bricks I can use two bricks and work with photograms showing multiple differents angles of the bricks. Will start with the bricks covering most of the plate and then gradually overlay the smaller sides into the photogram.

Mortar poses more of a problem but I think I will first cast the mortar between bricks out of plaster. Then make similar photograms out of the sheet of “mortar”.

Photography – Week Two

Watched a video of Errol Morris talking – always an elephant just outside the frame.

Elimination from photo is never visible.

Documentary to possibly watch – Gates of Heaven – on you tube.

Werner Herzog – film maker – watched Werner Herzog eats his shoe

We don’t have adequate images.

Ambiguity – multiple potential meanings.

Image assemblies:

Series, sequence, survey and story


Set of related artworks with a common title.


Images in a particular order which may be chronological, temporal, spatial.

Ordered, logical, progressive/regressive

Suits process oriented approaches – ? showing the development of an image in sequence.


Exploration of a subject – breadth or depth.

Taxonomy – a system for naming and organizing things, especially plants and animals, into groups that share similar qualities    Viewed 21 July 2020


Narrative exploration of a subject

Pat Brassington

Had a look at The Pressings – A set of 10 diptyches arranged to look like they are in a book or a locket that could be closed with the faces of the images together.

Pat Brassington.JPG     Viewed 21 July 2020

It is a series of diptyches that are related under a common title, format and colour scheme. Presumably there are a few levels on which the title is appropriate for all images – the images have a generally flat rather than three D look. In the image above you can see the the flowers could be pressed flat and that the fabric is placed on a flat plane and not appearing to follow the body contours.

The images appear to be suggesting they could be folded together or pressed together

Martin also mentioned the pressings of wine – the left overs.

The diptych format encourages you to look firstly at the relationships between the two images of the diptych and secondarily look at the relationships between the diptychs in the series.

If the 20 images were arranged differently, out of diptych format, they could potentially be arranged to tell a story or sequence through time.

I find these images vaguely disturbing. The body ones are a bit like the informe – obviously flesh but not so obvious the context or even part of the body at first glance. They are cold images with a flash of red the cuts across them rather than warming them up.

Derwent Project: 

David Stephenson and Martin Walch

Multi year project collecting data and imagery around the Derwent River system and presenting this in video and still format showing the passage of time, river height, seasons, movement of objects from various locations along the length of the river.

One interesting presentation involved a still with slivers of time across a 24 hour period. So the whole day was represented travelling across the image from left to right. Camera position was static taking photos every 5 mins and then the photo was assembled from midnight to midnight only showing a sliver of the appropriate photo in its position as it read from left to right. Hard to explain but hopefully I understand my own explanation.

At a tangent to this I have a quilt in progress made up of slivers of photos on fabric of different colours and I was trying to rearrange these month by month by colour where each colour represents my emotional state of play in regard to my son for that month. So cool grief was blue and anxiety and fear yellow and red. Sort of similar sliver construction. Must get it finished.


Have to think how my images are going to be arranged. Currently I’m working on the simple diptych and triptych for the hurdle task but wanting to print on fabric, and a quilting background, means that I could assemble in a variety of ways, including cutting up to collage and to rearrange in sequence or story. Sort of an analogue version of the computer arrangements in the Derwent project . 🙂






Covid toes

Yesterday I took photos for a first idea for a triptych.

Had to re edit the feet photo so it may not be completely accurate to my actual transparency. Learnt my lesson there – didn’t save my photos after printing.

I used the idea of three associated words and chose feet, socks, ugg boots.

The photos are not the original photos but edited with a view to making transparencies to print on fabric. I plan to print in black and white with solar fast as I can only make a black and white transparency. Then I’ll hand colour a few points in red to resonate with the toe nail polish.

This work is referencing the changes that have come about in this time. Fancy shoes are gone, most days are spent in hand made socks and ugg boots. My feet have become flatter and dry.  Ugg boots are worn and stained. Socks are stretched and thread has come loose.  Only remnants of precovid times is my chipped and grown out nail polish from a beauty salon gift redeemed months ago, when such things were still possible.

Covid toes actually also refers to a actual condition – red lesions on the feet, possibly in response to endothelial vascular damage.

Article below from Science Daily :

Wiley. “Study supports link between COVID-19 and ‘COVID Toes’.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 July 2020. <>.
Viewed 20 July 2020

Study supports link between COVID-19 and ‘COVID Toes’

July 2, 2020
A new study provides evidence supporting a link between ‘COVID toes’ — red sores or lesions on the feet and hands in children and young adults — and COVID-19.

There’s considerable controversy over whether “COVID toes” — red sores or lesions on the feet and hands in children and young adults — are truly caused by COVID-19. A new study published in the British Journal of Dermatology provides evidence in support of the link.

In most cases, affected individuals test negative with traditional COVID-19 tests involving throat swabs and measurements of circulating antibodies, but this study’s investigators found that the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 was present in skin biopsies in children with symptoms of COVID toes, despite negative results from traditional tests.

Analyses detected the virus in skin’s blood vessel endothelial cells, as well as in the sweat glands. Electron microscopy in one biopsy also found evidence of viral particles within endothelial cells.

“Our findings support a causal relation of SARS-CoV-2 with COVID toes. Endothelial damage induced by the virus could be the key mechanism causing these lesions,” said lead author Isabel Colmenero, MD, of Hospital Infantil Universitario Niño Jesús, in Spain. “Furthermore, vascular damage could also explain some clinical features seen in patients with severe COVID-19.”


My first attempt. This is 13 inches x 19 inches which is the size of my biggest transparency. It is reversed because I inadvertently put emulsion down. There is also a lot of random artefact. I painted the dye on the back and then put the lot into a frame. This was actually black but is low contrast as usual and colour separation. I think I will try dye on the front next time and transparency on top and expose no frame. This exposure was 3 hours but I think I’ve taken it a bit far. It’s also quite dilute for black. I painted water on first but it’s meant to be able to stand 1:1 water to dye. Perhaps water on the back first meant it acted as a bit of a resist to the dye getting through to the front.

One good thing is the toenails. Just painted them with straight dye on to dry fabric and exposed. Very happy with that intensity of colour.