Historically, craft has been viewed as a feminine practice with limited influence outside the domestic sphere. More recently, some crafts have increasingly been recognized not only as fine art but also as a subversive and effective form of activism. In May’s Social Issues workshop, we explored a craft medium that leaves a very literal impression – Cyanotype!
Many thanks to Mireille Perron for bringing her ideas, expertise, enthusiasm and equipment to make the workshop a success! An Assistant Professor at ACAD and founder of The Laboratory of Feminist Pataphysics, Mireille showed us how to use Cyanotype, one of the first photographic printmaking processes ever developed. She discussed the history of cyanotype, including Anna Atkins (1799-1871), who credited as the first female photographer to perfect the craft. She was also a botanist and used the method to document plants. Mireille presented examples of how the craft is currently to make statements as well as fine art.
The cyanotype process, also known as blueprint or sunprint, uses photosensitive iron salts to produce prints. We arranged compositions with variety of common objects on top of pre-treated fabric. We then exposed our compositions under UV light, creating permanent impressions on the fabric. We came out of the workshop with compositions that spoke to issues that were important to us, as well as a new skill that we can use to make impressions on others! Check out the photos below to see what we made:
Stay tuned for the next Social Issues Discussion Series on the state of child care in Alberta on Wednesday June 7th.
Blog by Robyn Blair, Social Issues Committee Volunteer