Cyanotype Kimono

I printed a large amount of fabric using the cyanotype technique with sweet peas (that grow wild in my London garden) and ferns. During lockdown, my collaborator Tabby G took the fabric and sewed it into this beautiful kimono.

I make lots of cyanotyped garments – its great to work in 3D opens up new dimensions of photography. I currently have 2 places left on my upcoming Zoom workshop with fabric.

Online Cyanotypes – a success !

I was trepidatious to try out an online workshop via Zoom, us artists sometimes find that technology is the opposite end of our spectrum! But I was delighted that we had attendees from the Midlands and here in South London, plus a representative of World Cyanotype Day joined us from Florida! It was interesting that exposure times for paper in the Midlands were about 30% longer than here in London , and it was a grey drizzly day everywhere. The class was a lot of fun. Stills form the afternoon are here

As the workshop was oversubscribed, I am running another on 24th July, details below:


This workshop is now FULLY BOOKED. See here for future workshops.

You will learn to make cameraless photographs “photograms” using this non-toxic process that originated in the 1800s. Each of the 5 (max) participants will need to purchase a specially prepared Cyanotype Kit via the link below so we are all using the same materials. The cost for the kit (and workshop) is a bargain at £29 inc p&p. The class runs for 2hrs, including a half-hour break so you can do some solid printing time and grab refreshments.

Kit Contains :

  • basic A4 printing frame
  • 10 sheets hand-coated A4 paper
  • 1 acetate for cliche verre
  • paper for stencils
  • Test strips
  • 1 lucky dip surprise item!
  • Latex gloves
  • pegs
  • recycled dark bag and packaging
  • Postage or hand delivery

You will also need
– Indoor space with good Wifi, or Data, and the Zoom.us app on your device
– Outdoor space or outdoor windowsill for exposing you prints to sunlight
– tray at least 2″ deep and A4 size, or a sink for rinsing your prints . Water.
– Washing line with pegs, or cardboard or plastic surfaces for drying prints
– a few flat plants, leaves or objects up to 6″ long

Bringing it online

At the beginning of lockdown (after the initial panic) I started trying to think of ways to bring my photography practice online. I tried a live “Cyanotype” (sun printing) demo on different days via Instagram Live and got quite disheartened by the quality. I ditched that and tried my first Facebook Live demo from my garden ! Quality was better and a few people tuned in, but I got some of my words muddled up and after I’d stopped recording I muttered some expletives – oops! Lesson learned – the live stream runs on for a few seconds after you hit Stop! So I deleted that video and made this edit of it for Instagram:

My online workshop is now full, but please follow this page for future workshops that you can participate in from the safety of your own home.

Online Cyanotype Workshop- Fully Booked

THIS WORKSHOP IS NOW FULL

I am taking my popular cyanotype workshops online via Zoom. You will learn to make cameraless photographs “photograms” using this non-toxic process that originated in the 1800s. Join me for this fledgling session, which is essentially free, but each of the 5 (max) participants will need to purchase a specially prepared Cyanotype Kit via the link below so we are all using the same materials. The cost for the kit is a bargain at £29 inc p&p, it contains :

Kit Contains :

  • Basic A4 printing frame
  • Hand-coated A4 paper
  • Latex gloves
  • Pegs
  • Recycled black bag and packaging
  • Postage or hand delivery

You will also need
– Indoor space with good Wifi, or Data, and the Zoom.us app on your device
– Outdoor space or windowsill for exposing you prints to sunlight
– tray at least 2″ deep and A4 size, or a sink for rinsing your prints . Water.
– Washing line with pegs, or cardboard or plastic surfaces for drying prints
– a few flat plants, leaves or objects up to 6″ long

This will be a fun and relaxed workshop suitable for adults of all levels. People will be attending the event indoors and popping in and out with their prints for expose to sunshine (it will also work on a cloudy day). The workshop will run from 2-2.40pm and then we will have a break for people to do some solid printing. Part 2 of the class will resume at about 3.20pm and we will finish at 4pm approx.

There will be ample opportunity to get 1-to-1 feedback and tips due to the small class size. I will be indoors demonstrating the process and telling you about the history and science of Cyanotype.

Don’t worry if it is an overcast day – we can still get results.

If this introductory workshops goes well, I hope to follow it with more advanced sessions : coating paper, printing on fabric, using negatives, toning etc .

Stuck at Home

Lockdown is rubbish for us photographers, we can’t go out and take photographs. We can play with what we’ve already got.

As part of our Juggernauts “The Diary is empty” Instagram project, I revisited these test strips (well squares) that I made for my liquid emulsion piece “Invisible Walls”. We are trapped behind more than just ‘invisible’ walls right now, it feels poignant. I started playing with these test pieces and with sunlight, sunlight is a great resource that comes free! I wrote and recorded the soundtrack on my iPhone. It expresses the unreal atmosphere of the new world we find ourselves in.

Let me know what you think. I’ve had good feedback from this little video, surprisingly. I think moving images is a great medium for the current time, it’s a longer format for those moments of boredom. Plus film can be immersive and escapist. Its comes easy to me as I began life working in film & TV, I might do some more experimenting.

30Works30Days

I am one of the artists participating in this online challenge to make a new work each day for 30 days ! They send out a different theme each morning to work to. Something to keep the creative juices flowing during lockdown. If you miss a day you are out! I’m not sure if I am a fan of all these online galleries that are popping up and not paying artists, but for now its important to stay on top of online art developments, as the world is changing fast.

Check out the worldwide project and on instagram #30works30days. I will post my little contributions below as the days pass.

Contagion – Contamination

Experiments in the darkroom.

I’ve been working with colour for much of 2020, but I finally managed to spend an afternoon isolated in the darkroom before lockdown. I couldn’t take my mind of the pandemic, I found a cup of mouldy coffee lying around, and got inspired to show some contagion on my prints.

This test shows one of my mermaids immersed in contamination. It could be the beginning on a new project on the theme of Contagion – Contamination.

Event coming

I am indebted to the detailed local history knowledge that has been passed onto me by Maureen Vitner (of St. Nicholas Church), Malcom Cadman (John Evelyn Community Garden), and Richard Katona (Deptford writer). They have helped me with my research for my current commission for the Timberyard building. I have invited them to my Artist’s Talk on 16th Feb 2019 for an informal panel chat about the history of Deptford which I am depicting in some huge collages (example above). They have some fascinating insights so please come along. At the end of the talks there will be chance to paint a log slice and take it home. They make great coasters! Example coming to this page soon.

Also must thank all the people of Deptford I have met over the years, including those I’ve chatted with while making my photo series over a decade on Deptford High Street. Its a unique and inspiring place thanks its people past and present.

New Commission

I’ve won a commission to produce artworks for 4 lobbies in the new Timberyard buildings on Grove street, Deptford. I am delighted to bring my local knowledge to this project – and I am involving the community in researching Deptford figures past and present.

Working for a large corporation is a world away from doing your own thing as an artist, there are lots of hurdles and demands, sometimes I feel like a very small cog in a big wheel, but I am rising to the challenge. I love the thought that new residents will walk past a slice of Deptford history when they leave the building to head off to work in the City etc.

My proposal included wood collages, paintings, photo collages and huge cyanotypes. So I have my work cut out! Here are some of my activities so far.