Not only does this intensive course in alternative photographic technique introduce students to basic printing processes, it also aims to create a large corpus of photographic work. The processes discussed are at the core of the so-called renaissance of old photographic techniques: cyanotype and gum bichromate. They are chemically safe and allow large format printing on different materials. Students will be theoretically and practically introduced to the methods by which these processes are applied on watercolor paper, and afterwards, the classes will explore printing variations in different colors. The two processes are often mixed in subtractive printing. While cyanotype printing covers some areas with photographs in blue, the gum bichromate printing develops the chromatic content of the images or adds new ones in different colors. By creating a “group art work” the students will be encouraged to draw upon their different national and cultural backgrounds and pool their different ideas, experiences and artistic sensitivities. The participants will thus be led to culturally explore specific and universal expressions of communication through photography. They will be engaged in shared activities, stage situations of creative process, and then capture moments and details. The session will be followed by discussion. The selected photos will be edited and printed in large format negatives, which allow their combined printing in cyanotype and gum bichromate processes. Following the selection of negatives and their organization, a watercolor paper roll 80 x 500 cm in size will be divided in geometrical sectors and coated in different color emulsions. The result will be a colorful mosaic of photographs, a representation of cross-cultural dialogue between European universities.
The artwork will be suitable for exhibition. It can be placed on a metal molded base and attached with magnets. This will alloweasy storage and economical transportation costs to locations in different countries.
Schedule for intensive training:
60 hours, 7 days, photography studios of NBU
Day 1 – Introduction to cyanotype and gum dichromate processes. Practice in mixing chemistry, coating and contact printing.
Day 2 – Photo sessions of shared activities and staging situations of creative process. Classical and digital photography.
Day 3 – Post-production of photographs and printing the negatives. Discussion on the preparation of the photo roll and solutions for compositing the negatives in different colors.
Day 4 – Composing the negatives on the photo roll and coating the paper.
Day 5 – Consecutively placing the negatives on the paper under glass and exposing the paper.
Day 6 – Rinsing the paper in water in an environmentally safe way and drying the roll.
Day 7 – Discussion on the creative process and the obtained results, together with possible independent projects in the printing processes.
Duration: 8 days on site