I am starting to feel that I am making progress now, not necessarily with the images but with the ideas that I want to pursue to make the images for Body of Work.
I learned from studying the Cyanotypes and comparing these with Japanese Aizuri prints. I looked at the general composition of the Japanese prints and compared these to the Cyanotypes. Although Anna Atkins work has been acclaimed aesthetically, it was produced for a scientific, botanic purpose. I do not think that she would have considered a framing that excluded some of the subject matter, as is the case with some of the Japanese floral images, as shown in the Chrysanthemum below.
Chrysanthemum Tanzaku print, Unknown Shin-hanga artist, woodblock print, 23.5x6cm
I intend to experiment with some more Cyanotypes but with a Japanese style composition to try to reflect the Aizuri-e. I give an example of this below where I show a Cyanotype of an Iris produced by Anna Atkins, my own Cyanotype taken in response to the Atkins’ version, followed by my own Aizuri style Cyanotype of the Iris.
I have also learned about Surimono which I had not come across until I started my research work. Image and text is nothing new in photography, in the section on Surimono I refer to the work of Karen Knorr and Sunil Gupta. I also know of the book Positives (Gunn1966) which is a collection of poetry written by Thom Gunn. On the page facing each poem is a photograph taken by his brother Ander Gunn, the photograph being an interpretation of the poem.
I feel that the Surimono format gives the opportunity to combine text and image to tackle my theme of flowers and the dangers they face. I now need to experiment more on how this will look, with the text and image combined or with the text separate from the image.
Reading Paul Davis’ work on typologies gave me the idea of presenting the ‘Grave Flowers’ series. Something else I need to do more work on.
Davis, P. (2017) Can the photographic typology be defined? At: https://medium.com/@pdtv/can-the-photographic-typology-be-defined-bfa38d5699f3 (Accessed 12/03/2020).
Gunn, T. (1966) Positives: Verses by Thom Gunn; Photographs by Ander Gunn. London: Faber & Faber.