Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Second week of the SAF 2011

I think I'm just recovering after spending all those hours standing talking. I love sharing the knowledge of alternate techniques but it's hard when you keep hearing yourself saying the same thing over again. I managed to do numerous Lumen prints and have hopefully given people some interesting ideas, especially on what to do with their left over wine!

Lots of workshops wanted by people, which is something that needs to be sorted out once I have my home in some order and I have also tidied up after the last few days. I have loads more Lumen prints to scan and get up here. Though I am waiting until I find some interesting film on e-bay.

And I sold some more work which is great news

Due to the rain I had to work in the poly tunnels, which was fine when the sun wasn't blazing but I think it may have had an affect on the lumens, especially as they were being fixed in the light. Some have carried on changing and others not, there seems to be no rhyme or reason to the differences and it's not the plant juices.There was also something akin to solarising going on with some of them. I shall scan and post when I can. The majority though turned out just fine and the happy experimenters took them away. I do hope they get the chance to try some more.

Friday, 15 July 2011

Exhibitions and workshops

It's that time of year when I am in the throws of doing workshops and demos and having exhibitions. Not that these don't happen at other times the rest of the year but the month of July seems to be rather busy with all of them and sometimes its hard to keep up. You'll have to excuse the iphone app it was just for speed!

The madness started two weeks ago when I held a workshop that was part of a Festival Fun day at Home Park Sydenham, this was printmaking and planning for an unknown amount of participants was certainly interesting. The idea was as simple as I could get it, using as much waste product as possible the children/adults were to create a face made on a backing board with scrap this would then be inked up and printed.

It was wonderful and also fascinating to see how many children and their parents were obviously not used to getting a little bit messy. The most rewarding aspect was watching those that floundered and appeared unable to even start end up with often the most engaging images and a desire to go back and do more. I think overall the day was a great success for all and the evidence was in the lack of space on the boards I had to show the work, it ended up all over the place and hanging from the ceiling.

Last week the subject matter for the workshops changed and I was to be doing Lumen prints, Pinholes and showing people how to make a Camera Obscura! A little eclectic but it seemed to work and the day was glorious weather wise so the Lumen prints were the favourite. I lost count of how many were produced and talking for six to seven hours about them was at least on the first day fantastic, I must say though the second day was exhausting but still most definitely a lot of fun and something I shall be doing for the coming two days as part of the Sydenham Arts Festival Trail.

The venue for these workshops is in a beautiful community garden, calling itself Grow Mayow the person responsible for this wonderful and inspirational site is Iris Borgers, she has the ability to convert a much neglected space into a hive of activity and growth that draws in the community making everyone appreciate the beauty in recycling, growing your own veg and flowers in such a way that nothing appears contrived or forced and the space has a creative power that doesn't just come from the plants. It certainly is the perfect venue for doing these Lumen prints with the endless resources around me people would run off to find plant material to use. I'm hoping the weather is good again, maybe this week the interest will be more centred around making the Camera Obscura.

The person in the picture is doing a social photography project and has decided to use this site to record peoples reactions to her image.

At the back of the large shed where the work is being shown there wee a few bolt holes that were crying out for a Camera Obscura to placed over them, well I decided to make something that would fit the bill out of yet more rubbish and came up with a cylindrical cam that looked rather like something from a "Steampunk" novel or the back end of a car! anyway this was attached to the wall with a bit of lateral thinking and I was relieved to find that it worked just as I had hoped, even if people did have to squat down on a tree trunk to look through it. I lost count of the amount of times people exclaimed "It's upside down!" all good fun.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Busy Times

So, I suppose at least the ending sentiments in my last entry have been fulfilled and I haven't actually waited three months till my next entry!, This sounds like some confessional but I have been so busy with life and planning and well I'm not really sure where the time has gone.

I have been exploring Lumen prints more and after doing numerous paper exposures I wanted to try something else, I had some film with only 12 exposures on it lying around that frankly I was not going to pay to get developed as they wanted to charge the same amount as a full roll so I thought I would see if it would react the same way as the paper. I thought it would be much faster. The first film was Fuji 100 expired and it was out for half an our in fair light, typical London light really. Anyway after the 30 minutes were up I took it in the house and popped it into the dev tank to fix it. At first I wondered if it would need to be developed but then thought I would keep the process the same as doing the paper.

The negative was fixed for five minutes, in diluted 1:2 fix (IIford) and agitated continuously for five minutes. After that I washed it for five to ten and checked the results... okay the base had cleared to show the faintest detail, it was still a bit thick and there wasn't that much going on but something was visible. Extending the time I then left the next lot out for over 2 hours, again not a great deal. Changing to Kodak 200ASA was much better the film speed obviously made a difference. I put this strip out for one hour and 15 mins and then fixed the same way... result! this worked so much better, I don't think it was down to any other factors than changing the film everything else was pretty much the same.

Here are some of the first results. I love the idea of doing this and the release one gets from feeling precious about the film, it goes against the grain to just pull out film in the sunlight. The challenge though has been trying to find items, plants and the like that are small enough to go on the film!

Some of these images are going to go in the Sydenham Arts Festival, that I am taking part in this coming weekend 9th/10th and the following weekend of the 16th/17th, I'll talk more on this tomorrow if I get a moment between hanging pics!