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A TASMANIAN CYANOTYPE: Untitled Found Objects by Victoria Cooper

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Untitled found objects a cyanotype by Victoria Cooper

 

Untitled Found Objects is created from a collection made of invasive starfish species colonising parts of Tasmanian waters and a map-shaped beer coaster found discarded in the streets of Hobart. In this work I play with these found objects and speculate on their relationship with Place.

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Found objects: Starfish and Tasmanian coaster map

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When I take the time to study a place through photography and Material Thinking* history is unearthed, reconsidered and reordered. As I walk in each place, I identify and collect objects for further study. Some objects are commonplace or endemic while others may be discarded or dislocated dissonant interventions. I then utilise the cyanotype process as a site-specific medium to record these collections using sunlight and other environmental conditions as experienced in-situ. In this work the cyanotype forms a blue matrix in which these objects are imaged as their shadows. The shadowy imprints inhabit the blue as white ghostly forms referential of their solid origins.

The final work of blue and white is a paradox between its fiction and truth, the featureless blueness only revealing form by its absence. To think about the cyanotype in this way ushers in many questions: Is the cyanotype blue a political or aesthetic statement? Do the white shadows speak of absence or are they the essence of a presence? Does the reader need an exegesis to understand a poem?i

 

Victoria Cooper

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Untitled found objects exposing the cyanotype

 

*The concept of an aesthetic methodology proposed by Paul Carter in his book, Material Thinking, defines my art, and underpins the making of my work. Through a psychological dialogue with materials, subjects and objects, my work evolves reflexively and in concert with the response to physical experience of time and place. In this process I am taken in new directions and presented with unexpected outcomes for the work.

 

Just as human collaborators needed to suspend an irritable desire for control of the project, substituting instead a lover’s readiness to be plastically moulded by the other’s (intellectual) desire, so with materials: they self selected, those of especial value to enquiry displaying gifts of amalgamation and self transformation analogous to the emotional environment characteristic of the human exchange. (Carter 2004:xiii)

 

Paul Carter, 2004, Material Thinking, Melbourne University Publishing Ltd, Melbourne.

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©2019 Victoria Cooper

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