Pictures of the Month/ Timo Remes: Cyanotype Experiments

04.03.2019 - 31.03.2019

Cyanotype is an old photographic printing process. The technique was originally developed in 1842 by an English researcher and astronomer John Herschel who used the process to produce copies of his notes and drawings.

The technique is based on the light sensitive qualities of the chemicals used. Ferric ammonium citrate (A) and potassium ferricyanide (B) form an UV-light sensitive liquid when mixed together. The mixture is spread to paper and left to dry. Cyanotype is a negative process. Areas where light does not hit sensitized material remain white. To create a positive image, a negative is placed on top of the sensitized paper, which is then exposed to light. After exposing the paper is rinsed with water. Another way to create a cyanotype is called the photogram technique. In this process objects such as leafs and fabrics are placed straight to the paper. Cyanotype process results to a cyan-blue image although some techniques for colouring have been developed.

Timo Remes first learned about cyanotype in Liminka School of Art in 2016. He was interested in the handicraft nature of the process. Remes also got interested in other alternative photographic processes such as pinhole photography and lens-free techniques such as photogram and solargraphy.

In this body of works Remes has experimented with creating cyanotypes on different kind of surfaces. He also wanted to include craftsmanship such as woodwork. His aim was to do as much as he could with his own hands and to use recycled materials. Remes made the frames out of scrap wood that was donated to him by S-Market Oulunsalo. He printed on a wide range of materials including etching paper and old bed sheets as well as glass.

The starting point on creating the art works was experimenting with photographic techniques such as photograms and pinhole photography, and different kind of digital and analog cameras. The objects in the images are from the artist’s childhood and from his time in Liminka.

Timo Remes: Cyanotype Experiments