As a conclusion to this term’s and this year’s work, I have submitted two pieces. One is a CMYK photo etching depicting a rainbow projected onto a darkened wall. The other is 11 photographic slides of cloud images which represents the ongoing work ‘The Cloud Project’. I feel that the chosen works accurately summarise my practice in the last year. I have been developing an inquiry into the impalpable and how to bring it closer to the viewer. I have been specifically looking at the sky and clouds, and more recently, rainbows.
The first piece, titled ‘Transitory’ is a photo etching created from a photograph which was taken when splitting light through a prism. I photographed the rainbow in a space with white walls, but no lighting, in order to achieve a darkened background. The image was then split into its four colour layers; yellow, black, cyan and magenta. I then created four etching plates and printed them to reproduce this image. Overall, I am not as happy with the outcome as I had hoped. My aim was to create a print which conveyed the bright, bold colours of the original rainbow, with a saturated, black background to help them stand out. The actual result is a much more subtle rainbow which does not depict the graduation of colours very well. Although I am quite disappointed, the outcome has evidenced that a subject like this has a completely different impact when seen in person than it does when it is recreated. However, what I do believe I have achieved with this piece is the aim to capture something that is only around for so long and place it in a permanent state; in this case in the form of a print. It also represents the nature of these manipulations of light to change. Every natural rainbow we see is different and is vulnerable to time; it only exists for so long before it disappears. In terms of the media I used, the photo etching provided a nice feathered effect which captured the impalpable properties of the rainbow. However, I would like to also try to create the same image through the technique of screen printing, which would allow for less mistakes during inking and hopefully provide brighter colours. I would also like to change the scale of the work to be much larger.
The second submission is a brief collection of images from ‘The Cloud Project’. This is an ongoing project with a final aim of gathering hundreds of images of clouds from different locations and times to form an archive. I am collecting some images myself but have also tried to advertise the project to ask others to get involved; my hope is that I will be able to gather a wider variety of different clouds from different locations. Currently most are from the UK. Recently, I have been thinking about what I would do with the images. I am currently experimenting with the idea of displaying them on a very small scale in the form of 35mm photographic slides. Each has a handwritten location, date and time in which the cloud was spotted on the back. The goal behind this was to create a way to interact around these clouds and give viewers the ability to hold them in their hand. This means they are able to hold a cloud up to the sky wherever they are in the world and place a cloud from one sky, into another. I am really happy with the concept behind this work and love the way the slides look. My current problem is with the obtaining of images. I am trying to get as many people involved as possible but it is proving to be more difficult than I first thought. I have not had a lot of images and those that I have are mainly from the UK, especially Northampton. I can take images myself but am again limited on the location. This is something to consider as the project develops. Another way I would like to improve the work is to incorporate the categorisation of clouds as it becomes a more archival project. I have taken inspiration from the International Cloud Atlas and have begun briefly looking into different types of clouds. This may find a purpose in the project when I have a bigger collection of images. Ideas of an end goal are beginning to form; I am considering the idea of an ‘exchange’ in which participants could each get a cloud slide from a completely different location – a sort of ‘cloud in your pocket’ idea.
Overall, I am happy with the direction my practice is taking and would like to continue the theme of documentation/archival work. Over the summer, I aim to continue the cloud project and maybe return to astronomical observation and recording.