The Shutter Room Gallery Whangarei.
Something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue.
The Shutter Room Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of unique cyanotypes by Whangarei artists Elektra Bakhshov and Lenka Mason. The exhibition will run at the Shutter Room Gallery (located at The Old Library in Rust Avenue Whangarei) from February 24th until 5th March, 2016.
The cyanotype process is one of the first photographic methods developed by the English scientist Sir John Herschel in 1842. In 1843 Anna Atkins published book of botanical cyanotype photograms. She is thought to be the first female photographer. Until the 1940’s the cyanotype method was used to produce copies of architectural and engineering designs – blueprints. Cyanotype was eventually replaced by cheaper and faster photographic methods, but is experiencing resurgence in contemporary art.
Elektra is using the cyanotype to bring the nostalgic feeling of landscapes. She is inspired by the romantic era and the appeal of plants either when they are alive or dead. She captures the moment of wonder, romance and mystery. As she said “We see plants and landscapes every day, but we get mesmerized by the photos. Something mystical appears when you capture it, maybe it’s the moment or the spirit; you are never quite sure.”
Mason is drawn to the cyanotype process for its slowness, relative simplicity and the need for preparation and thought. Her images in this exhibition play with placing characters from paintings of old masters in familiar streets of Whangarei. In her art, whether ceramics or photography, Mason often explores her interest in architecture. Juxtaposing classical individuals and scenes with the streets Mason is creating “new”, softer, romanticised Whangarei.
The cyanotype process is a perfect marriage of science and art. By using this old process, Bakhshov and Mason create new yet aged looking photographs. They borrow material from nature and history of art books to create personal and stimulating blueprints.
The opening event is on Wednesday 24th February 5.30pm – 7pm, all welcome. Gallery hours Wed-Fri midday – 4pm, Sat 10am – 1pm. For further information contact Gallery Curator Megan Dickinson 0273381578.