Imaginations of Divine Mother & Precious Landscapes
Neville Campbell – Imaginations of Divine Mother
‘Imaginations of Divine Mother’ draws freely on an artistic interpretation of who the Divine Mother is, removed from any limited knowledge as to who she might be. It is a process of finding my way by moonlight before the sun has come up. A light so often pretended away and ignored because it exists as the most painful kind of hope there is, blurring desire and dream.
“Do you want deliverance from the bonds of the world?
Then, weeping profusely, you will have to cry out from
the bottom of your heart. Deliver me, Great Mother of
the World, deliver me!”~ Anandamayi Ma
These words of Anandamayi Ma are living milk of the Mother, disturbing my complacency and stagnant idealisation of who she is or how she might appear.
In reality I have no idea who ‘Divine Mother’ might be, or believe in any overarching deity, masculine or feminine. It seems beyond reason therefore, I have been drawn to depict awareness of known and unknown as a voluptuous woman.
The Feminine, as a psychic force reaches far beyond biological sex, and thus cannot be wholly claimed by the female voice (tempting as this might be after centuries of inequality and abuse).
Stuart Clook – Precious Landscapes
My photography and print making are influenced by the pictoralists and tonalist movements of the late 19th century where I use contemporary materials to make landscape prints of platinum, cyanotype and gumbichromate in muted colours of dreamy and painterly imagery. These historical processes renowned for their subtle tonal range, luminosity and inherent permanence are labour and time intensive yet rewarding and addictive with endless creative possibilities that help me use the full photographic syntax to make prints with personality that will stand the test of time.
Like a small but growing number of photographers I’m exploring analogue and alternative photographic processes to help me express my thoughts and feelings about the land that we live, work and play in. These processes help me make my prints in a uniquely personal way and where I can use my hands in today’s digital and machine centric world.
I love the fact that the outcome is not guaranteed and that sometimes serendipity can play her part in making for a truly unique and handmade photographic print.
My goal is to inspire those who see my work to look more carefully around them and to discover how precious our world is.
The Platinum & Palladium print
The exquisite quality of platinum and palladium prints are unique and renowned for their delicate tonal scale of luminous mid tones, rich shadows, and delicate highlights. Made from the salts of platinum and palladium the process was discovered during the 19th centrury and patented and commercialised by William Willis in 1873.
It gained popularity to become the most popular photographic medium at the time until it became difficult to source platinum as a result of its uses for World War 1 ammunitions manufacture. As a result, commercial papers became unavailable and photographers started to use the higher gloss modern day silver gelatin papers which coincided with the transition from pictorialism to modernism in the 1920’s
Platinum palladium printing is history’s ultimate photographic process and the most archival of all photographic mediums available. It is impervious to light fading and acid damage and will last as long as the paper that supports it. Archivally framed and properly cared for a platinum palladium prints are capable of lasting more than a thousand years.
The Gum bichromate print
Discovered by Mungo Ponton in 1839 this process was one the earliest colour printing processes and uses watercolor pigments mixed with gum Arabic and dichromate to form the printed image. Although gum printing can be used to produce full colour CMYK print I use the gum process in combination with a platinum palladium print to add depth to the shadows and through choice of colour affect the mood in the print. My gum and platinum combination prints are made by printing several successive layers of gum in registration with the platinum print to build up the overall density and colour.
The Cyanotype print
The Cyanotype, which is also known as ferroprussiate or blueprint was invented by Sir John Herschel in 1842, when he discovered that iron salts reacted to light and oxidised to create a blue-and-white image of a continuous tone of the pigment Prussian Blue.
The process was particularly suited to reproducing technical drawings in engineering and architecture until the advent of the photocopier machine. However, it is a versatile process and was used throughout the 19th century as a photographic printing process including the first use of photographs to illustrate a book by Anna Atkins in 1843 in her Photographs of British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions.