Rare and wondrous things (Ode to Maria Merian)
3D Cyanotype, Handmade Paper, Paper cut Collage
Ø 210 mm diameter x 30 mm frame dept
This artwork was inspired by Maria Sibylla Merian, a pioneer in art, science, and business.
From an early age Merian was an accomplished painter of flowers and insects and an
entomologist, possessing a great ability to move between art and science. Fusing artistic
endeavour and nature observation, her fascinating paintings defied Victorian categorisation. They are a fitting monument to such an unusual figure whose life, too, was a blaze of colour making her one of the greatest artist‑naturalists of her time.
Rare And Wondrous Things(Ode To Maria Merian) was created by constructing a hand-cut collage using female photographic portraiture and photograms and photographs of flower specimens, silk moths and cocoons.
After coating the handmade paper and watercolour sheets with light-sensitive chemistry, they are left to dry in a dark room. The large-scale negatives are contact printed onto the paper by exposure to daylight (UV rays). The prints are then processed by thoroughly washing in water to remove any unexposed solution. It can then be hung to dry, developing to full density Prussian blue after 24 hours.