X Close

Museums & Collections Blog

Home

News and musings from the UCL Culture team

Menu

Letting things draw themselves

JackAshby4 December 2015

This is a guest post from our artist in residence Eleanor Morgan. It is part of a series exploring the exhibition Glass Delusions at the Grant Museum of  Zoology.

Emerging #5, Photogram, 2015 (C) Eleanor Morgan

Emerging #5, Photogram, 2015
(C) Eleanor Morgan

During my artist’s residency at the Grant Museum I wanted to record the way light travels through the glass jars and specimens that fill the space. My first thought was to try cyanotypes. This is a type of contact print in which an object is place on paper and exposed to light. Where the light hits, the resulting image is a deep blue colour. The astronomer John Herschel developed cyanotypes in the nineteenth century for creating blueprints of diagrams and notes, but it is the cyanotypes of his contemporary Anna Atkins that are particularly celebrated. By placing seaweeds and ferns on prepared paper, Atkins’ cyanotypes are beautifully detailed and create a sculptural effect on the paper.

(more…)