Some new places

Words make worlds

This is a cyanotype of Gledhow Valley Wood- digital pic on camera on phone transferred to an A4 acetate after a bit of Photoshopping (grayscale, upping the contrast using levels, and turning into a negative).  This was then placed on Fabriano paper freshly painted (and dried) with 2 coats of cyanotype fluid and developed in the May sunshine at college. I did a series of these to submit to the Chapel Allerton Arts Festival, and for showing in one of the cafe/bars in the ‘village’, perhaps framing and/or printing onto little cards for sale.

I’m also looking at doing contact and lumen prints with the cyanotype medium and with out of date colour photographic paper and liquid light.  I want to gather stuff from different places to use (organic, inorganic, found bits and pieces) for the site-specific work I am doing at St John’s Church and Chapel Allerton.  I want to explore the potential and develop the techniques as part of my toolkit for expressing the themes which are forming as the ‘point’ of my practice.  I am still reaching for this and content to stay with, and trust the process. It feels like groping about among the ideas, unsure but really interested (in too many things?), always a bit too ‘broad brush’ and ill-defined but trying to think deeply and with sincerity about what I care about.  This definitely includes the matter of people and our connection to place, the traces and stories we leave behind.  Also, what that connection means, what it looks like, what makes it like this, in these times when the place we live is being damaged by us so catastrophically.


Another aspect is people and conversation/activism.  The image above is from a conversation event for women which I organised (as part of a 5-strong hosting team) sparked by a pamphlet by Bea Campbell, End of Equality.

We were planning this for several months, building trust within the hosting team, making connections around the city, and refining our plans and expectations. On reflecting together, we agreed that we had achieved our aims:

  • To respond to Bea’s book and to find out what we all think is going on in these times
  • To chuck a pebble in the pond- get women together to talk and see what happens next- hoping that more things will happen and wanting to stay involved
  • To recognise and support the new wave of women’s activism

I am currently gathering images, text and film material to ‘harvest’ the event, aiming to put some of it in the MA room for the End of Year Shows at College.  I am working with a film-maker, photographer and poet, who helped on the day (partly ‘paid for’ with my hours on Leeds Creative Timebank) to produce short films and a photo-poem book, as well as a narrative report including all the ripples from our ‘pebble in the pond’.  These will also be published on social media, links to be included in a future blog entry.

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