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CYANOTYPE IN AUSTRALIA @ MGA – An exhibition & Workshop

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We are excited to announce an exhibition of the work of Australian cyanotype practitioners for World Cyanotype Day 2018 has now opened.

Over the last month we’ve been working with Stephanie Richter and Gillian Jones of Monash Gallery of Art in Melbourne to bring together the cyanotype works by artists from north Queensland to Tasmania to exhibit in the MGA’s ATRIUM GALLERY.

We also presented a one day masterclass on the cyanotype and the book.

 

In Anna’s Garden: Poster

 

The exhibitors are:

Adele Outteridge, Ann Vardanega, Chris Byrnes, Christina Harding, Danielle Minette, David Symons, Dawne Fahey, Deanna Hitti, Felicity Rea, Gael E Phillips, Gail Neumann, Jan Ramsay, Janis House, Kate Golding, LeAnne Vincent, Linsey Walker, Lloyd Godman, Lynette Zeeng, Mark Lourensz, Mel Brackstone, Mollie Bosworth, Raimond De Weerdt, Renata Buziak, Robyn Campbell, Shane Booth, Silvi Glattauer, Sue Clisby, Thomas Oliver, Trevor Foon, Stephanie Richter, Victoria Cooper and Doug Spowart.

 

the ‘In Anna’s Garden’ catalogue

A copy of the exhibition catalogue can be dowloaded ‘In Anna’s Garden’ CATALOGUE

 

A video of the gallery installation can be seen here…

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THE STORY OF THE EXHIBITION from Victoria Cooper + Doug Spowart

 

For around 2 years we have been members of the World Cyanotype Day Facebook page and have followed the work and comments made by cyanotypists from all over the world. When the call went out about the 2018 World Cyanotype Day (WCD) we shared the post on our Facebook page with the message, ‘wouldn’t it be fantastic if we could have an exhibition of practitioners from Australia to celebrate WCD’. Within minutes our Facebook Friends started responding with supporting comments like, ‘WOW, I’d like to be a part of that!’ Within 24 hours about 20 ‘Likes’ and comments appeared – we then thought about how we could make it possible.

In September we were scheduled to be in Melbourne so we made some enquiries with a few contacts about the possibility of an exhibition space that we could consider for the project. Things went quiet for a while and we sent out a few follow up messages. Then came a response from Stephanie Richter, the Monash Gallery of Art’s Education & Public Programs Coordinator, that the Community Access space at MGA could be available. After consultation with the Director Anouska Phizacklea and the MGA team the go ahead was granted to mount the exhibition and present a masterclass in the process. An event team was formed consisting of Stephanie, Gillian Jones – a recent Master of Arts and Cultural Management student from Melbourne University with Vicky and myself.

A Facebook Group was established and people who we knew were practising cyanotypists were invited to join. Through our contacts in alternative and traditional photography we enquired about other cyanotype workers that we should be aware of to extend to them an invitation to contribute to the show.
In time documents outlining the project, conditions of submission and important aspects of the venue and the audience were generated and made available online. Some invitees were contacted via email, as they were not Facebook users.

The closing dates for submissions, delivery to the gallery and installation all had tight deadlines. The FB group was able to provide a rapid distribution of information, an ability to respond to questions and circulate the answers back to the group. Behind the scenes the event team connected via Facebook Messenger to plan, resolve and prepare the way for the exhibition. Early in September the works were received at the gallery and a 3-day installation took place by the event team supported by artist Deanna Hitti. The exhibition was opened on the 15th of September and will remain on show until the 21st of October.

In Anna’s Garden presents a diverse and vibrant community of cyanotype artists and photographers working in Australia. Although the exhibition is not a complete survey, it does represent a beginning in recognizing the practice of this process in Australia. Also planned is the continuation of an openly accessible ‘The Cyanotype in Australia’ Facebook page to provide a place for networking and the sharing of concepts, techniques and images with the local, national and international communities.

The growing popularity of this early photographic process could seem strange at a time when instant perfection is so easily achieved through digital technologies. Perhaps the allure for the cyanotype lies in its hand-made working methods and technologies along with the potential for capricious results that inevitably lead to an excitement in the discovery new ways of seeing. For many the emotional power of the cyanotype’s blue image continues to create new perceptions through visual expression and storytelling 176 years beyond its first discovery.

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SOME IMAGES FROM THE EXHIBITION

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Written by Cooper+Spowart

August 28, 2018 at 11:27 pm

National Works on Paper submission – not shortlisted

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As an artist there is a need for affirmation and justification for one’s life in the activity and practice of artmaking. Artists prepare and curate their work in gallery exhibitions to present work – and then there are awards and competitions.  Each year, as the call for entries comes around, we like many artists around the country, look at recent work and consider its appropriateness for specific awards.

There are of course thoughts of winning an award but perhaps more importantly is the opportunity to be shortlisted for exhibition and considered for purchase or collection. Equally important for us is the opportunity to connect with fellow artists in the curated exhibition that represent the judge’s opinion of what constitutes the most relevant works based on the competition’s criteria.

This year I submitted to the National Works on Paper Award an artists’ book that I had made during our Skopelos Works on Paper workshop in Greece last year. The book is an exploration of the idea of a montage of light capturing the performance of reading a book. Simultaneously the reader, the location where the reading took place and the page-turning action of reading is imaged in light sensitive cyanotype on the watercolour pages of the book.

 

Doug Spowart opens SKOP PHOTO after its creation in Greece     PHOTO: Victoria Cooper

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Here’s an image of the book:

SKOP PHOTO artists’ book by Doug Spowart

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Other images of SKOP PHOTO folder, cover and details

 

ARTIST’S STATEMENT: SKOP PHOTO an artists’ book by Doug Spowart

This book is created using the cyanotype (sun print) process as part of the author’s ongoing investigation on the ontology of reading.

The book was folded into a concertina form to eventually allow for a variety of potential readings; either extended or page after page. The author then coated the light sensitive cyanotype emulsion onto the pages of the book.

The pages were slowly turned and extended over several minutes allowing the sunlight of the Greek island of Skopelos to strike the emulsion as author performed reading.

After washing in a bath of water, an image of the Aegean light was formed in Prussian blue on the pages of the book. Alternatively, where the light had not fallen on the page – there seemed to be no image formed. But this apparent absence was a “shadow” – a kind portrait of the artist reading the book in its moment of creation.

 

Today I received an email advising that my submission was not shortlisted..

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Not a big problem for me as only 1 in 16 artworks were accepted for the 2018 awards and those names on the list are a fine group of artists.

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If you are interested the 2018 National Works on Paper finalists were:
Raymond Arnold, Peter Atkins, Alec Baker, Martin Bell, Ray Besserdin, Solomon Booth, David Bosun, Godwin Bradbeer, Kate Briscoe, Jane Brown, Jon Campbell, Susanna Castleden, Danica Chappell, Hua Cun Chen, Sam Cranstoun, Lesley Duxbury, Robert Fielding, David Frazer, Ian Friend, Dana Harris, Katherine Hattam, Pei Pei He, Kendal Heyes, Mark Hislop, Deanna Hitti, Anna Hoyle, Natalya Hughes, Alana Hunt, Locust Jones, Jennifer Joseph, Noŋgirrŋa Marawili, Brian Martin, Georgie Mattingley, Mish Meijers, Viv Miller, Helen Mueller, John Nixon, Open Spatial Workshop, Elena Papanikolakis, Louise Paramor, Hubert Pareroultja, Jemima Parker, Riley Payne, Dan Price, Lisa Reid, Louise Rippert, Cameron Robbins, Brian Robinson, Elissa Sampson, Emily Sandrussi, Geoff Sargeant, Jo Scicluna, Liz Shreeve, William Smeets, Kylie Stillman, TextaQueen, James Tylor and Laura Wills, Trent Walter, Rosie Weiss, Mumu Mike Williams, Puna Yanima, Yvonne Zago, Tianli Zu.

 

Exhibition details at the Mornington Peninsula Regional Art Gallery:

The opening event and award presentations will take place on Saturday 21 July from 4-6pm. An electronic invitation will be sent to you closer to the date.

 

Now I’m looking forward to 2020

In the meantime I’ll be pursuing some more cyanotype documentations of the act of reading – maybe during our upcoming Bundanon Artists Residency in June…

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