In May Alisha and I picked up our friend Nadine Donath from the airport. She had come in from Berlin, Germany via New York City. Alisha met Nadine a few years back when they shared an apartment in Brooklyn together. Alisha was working at David Stark and Nadine was studying at Pratt. Nadine was starting a residency with macheteMACHETE where she would teach workshops and produce work for her solo show, Not Here Either.
It was such a pleasure working with Nadine throughout May and June. She chose the photographic process called cyanotype, also known as blue prints or sun prints. She scouted the outlines and silhouettes of local flora like coconut husks, lemon grass, guinea grass, tan tan seed pods, and wild flowers as her subject.
Here’s the cyanotype process according to wikipedia:
…Cyanotypes can be printed on any surface capable of soaking up the iron solution. Although watercolor paper is a preferred medium, cotton, wool and even gelatinsizing on nonporous surfaces have been used. Care should be taken to avoid alkaline-buffered papers which will cause degradation of the image over time.
A positive image can be produced by exposing it to a source of ultraviolet light (such as sunlight) with a negative. The UV light reduces the iron(III) to iron(II). This is followed by a complex reaction of the iron(II) complex with ferricyanide. The result is an insoluble, blue dye (ferric ferrocyanide) known as Prussian blue.
Upon exposure to ultraviolet light (such as that in sunlight), the iron in the exposed areas will reduce, turning the paper a steel-grey-blue color. The extent of color change is dependent on the amount of UV light, but acceptable results are usually obtained after 10-20 minute exposures on a bright, sunny day. The highlight values should appear overexposed as the water wash will reduce the final print values. Prints can be made with large format negatives and lithography film, or everyday objects can be used to make photograms.
We had great success with our workshops. People had a lot of fun with the process and brought in all sorts of stuff to print on and all sorts of shapes to print. The workshops were about 3 hours long and it was wonderful to see macheteMACHETE transform from gallery to studio.
During the week Nadine worked on her own work for her upcoming showing. By her opening, she had about 100 6″x6″ cyanotypes, 88 of them made it into the show.
macheteMACHETE would like to thank Nadine for her work done on St. Croix. Her St. Croix series is now on display at the gallery. • t