Sunday, 25 January 2015

Indigo blues

Whilst we were at the Barbican on Saturday we stumbled a cross a stunning exhibition in the Curve Gallery by Walhead Beshty. He has used the cyanotype process to create more than 12,000 prints over the course of a year. Each print is made by coating a porous surface, such as paper or cardboard, with UV-sensitive cyanotype chemistry. One object from the artist's studio was placed on a coated surface each day, and the print was exposed directly to sunlight, producing the object's silhouette against a cyan blue background, and creating an image that appears almost like an x-ray.

 The images filled the entire curved wall.

 Some images were massive, printed on old opened up cardboard boxes, others were printed on the tiniest piece of paper, but they all fitted together like a jigsaw.

My favourite image was of these goggles. I love the fact that you can see them in 3D.

Some of the indigo becomes really deep in colour, some stays very light. The camera below left has been printed onto wood. The rubber glove below looks a bit sinister!

The exhibition was mounted like one massive patchwork and made quite an impact. It reminded me a lot of the boro quilts I loved so much in Japan, like the example below. I love the combination of the rough patchiness of the pieces,  combined with the beautiful deep indigo blue colour.

Boro quilts are heavily patched and repaired indigo dyed cotton pieces that were made by the wives of fishermen or farmers out of necessity. They were mostly bedclothes and jackets that needed mending, and so each hole or fray was pieced with whatever fabric was available at the time. Some have been repaired so many times, that the original fabric is hardly visible, but the fabric takes on a whole new beautiful personality.

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