Julie van der Vaart
Blues is a group exhibition curated by Joost Vandebrug that brings together seven pioneering artists from Iran, United States, Belgium, Japan, Sweden, Netherlands and United Kingdom who each explore in their original and uncompromising way the historic photographic process of Cyanotypes.
Cyanotypes were first discovered by Sir John Herschel in 1842 as a simple and low-cost process to produce copies of notes and drawings. Engineers and architects used this process well into the 20th century and the prints were referred to as blue-prints. Soon after its discovery, it was adopted by artists who were captivated by the rich blue shades of the technique. Most notably, the photographer Anna Atkins. Her book with cyanotypes was the first to be photographically printed and illustrated. Anna Atkins (1799 –1871) was also considered the first female photographer.
Gohar Dashti, Iran.
Dashti’s experience of the Iran-Iraq war weighs on her artistic work. Her cyanotypes in this exhibition are of organic material that she destroyed and fractured before photographing it, therefore commenting on the beauty of the natural world while also acknowledging the damaging effects humans can have on it.
Mika Horie, Japan.
Horie’s delicate and intimate cyanotypes are exposed by the sun on paper that she makes herself from the bark of the locally sourced Gampi tree, in her native village in Japan. Her work is a spectacle of mountain-scapes, foliage, and near-forgotten villages.
Ivan Forde, United States.
Through his work, Ivan retells stories from epic poetry, casting himself as every character to reflect on migration, memory, and homeland. Forde’s cyanotypes/mixed media works in this exhibition draw heavily from his own family history in Guyana, specifically, the fascinating history of Buxton, his grandmother’s hometown.
Arash Fakhim, Netherlands.
Fakhim uses cyanotypes to create installations that live in their own world, far from the conventional assumptions that this technique is often associated with. His works shows echoes and traces that were left by objects while exposing cyanotypes in the sun.
Erika Rodin, Sweden.
Reconstructing her own identity and heritage by the use of cyanotypes. Rodin photographic objects consist of meticulously selected pieces of blue Heartwood from her family forest in Sweden. The wood is coated and exposed to sunlight, revealing a personal journey into memory.
Timo Lieber, United Kingdom.
Lieber is using the cyanotype process to chart the metamorphosis of melting ice. The physicality of the ice crystals melting on the surface of the paper leaves traces of its presence. Lieber’s cyanotypes are a testament to his commitment to capturing what is lost -what will never be again.
Julie van der Vaart, Belgium.
Julie’s work is strongly rooted in experimental and historic photographic techniques. Her photographs show intimate encounters with human forms, presented like precious relics. Her cyanotypes in this exhibition are printed on fabric.