During an artist residency in the southeastern desert of California, I began experimenting with cyanotype; a cameraless contact printing process utilizing UV light to expose the image and water to develop and fix it. Without having access to a traditional darkroom I wanted to interact directly with the environment around me, utilizing the intense desert sun to expose onto hand coated paper and cotton fabric. The blue monochromatic images revealed the desert landscape's otherworldly features. I focused on the characteristics of the land that make it so diverse; isolated portraits of Joshua Trees and stacks of smooth rounded boulders looking as if they were placed in their formations by hand.
I appreciate the accessible, versatile, and interpretive qualities of this historic process. Inspired by Anna Atkins’s work documenting coastal botanical specimens, I wanted to continue this work expanding to other geologically diverse landscapes. Over the past few months, I needed to continue to create work even without access to my studio and darkroom. Working out of my home, I returned to the cyanotype process experimenting with fabric and quilting. The imagery, details of geologic formations were taken in Mojave National Preserve, Yellowstone National Park, and Golden Gate National Recreation Area on medium format film. I scan the film and divide the digital image into 8 equal sections. The digital negatives I have created are exposed as individual tiles on cyanotype coated white cotton fabric. Finally, I use traditional quilting techniques to sew and finish the fabric into a wall hanging. The cyanotype process lends itself to this imagery; pushing the viewer to focus on the abstracted textures, formations, and light while still recognizing the landscape definition.