This year was to be a year of exhibitions, projects, books, and workshops; it has turned out rather differently. Over the past weeks and months I have instead been concentrating on writing and printing. In particular I have been cyanotype printing, using negatives made from some of my photographs, but also, as with the work above, photograms made from pressed flowers. These three prints, made on a delicate hand-made paper from Bhutan, are mounted together on an A3-sized board to form a one-of-a-kind artwork. I’m selling this work, and other cyanotypes, over at my photography website (there are books and other prints for sale there too). Selling prints has been a great source of encouragement this Spring, so thank-you to everyone who has helped support me and other artists this way.
On Tuesday December 10th I went to the British Library in London to receive the 2019 Michael Marks Award for illustration of a poetry pamphlet. I’ve written a bit more about this over on my photography website chrisroutledge.pictures, but the short version is that this was for the photographs in Carousel, my collaboration with poet Rebecca Goss, published by Guillemot Press.
Receiving the award was a wonderful way to end 2019, which has been quite a big year for my photography. Back in October I had my first solo exhibition, at the Heaton Cooper Studio Archive Gallery in Grasmere (there are still some copies of the accompanying limited edition book available). I also exhibited at the Liverpool Art Fair, and I have two limited edition prints in the dot-art gallery’s Liverpool Collection, which you can see (and buy from there) until January 18th. The two prints are best seen in person, but if you want to take a look they are Mersey Docks and Harbour Board (Mann Island) and Futurist.
I’m excited to announce that my collaborative book with poet Rebecca Goss is available from Guillemot Press today. It’s in a limited edition of 200, and like all Guillemot books is beautifully made and presented. This project has been simmering for over eight years, and we are delighted with the way it turned out. You can buy the book from Guillemot Press here.
More information is on the Open Eye gallery website.
Yesterday I had to go next door to finish off cutting our shared hedge, but I was distracted, as usual, by an opportunity to take pictures. I finished the hedge, but not before I had spent an hour lying down in the grass, getting wet and risking being stung by wasps, photographing these butterflies. They let me go very close, but I suspect they were probably a bit drunk. As far as I can work out, the butterflies here are the Red Admiral, the Comma, and the Speckled Wood, but I’m no better on butterflies than varieties of apple.
The dunes at Crosby have been protected from erosion by an enormous pile of demolition rubbish from what looks like Lancashire factories and other large buildings. Lovely sea-rounded bricks. (1968 Zorki-4, Jupiter-8 lens, Kodak Ultramax 400).
Kodak is hosting a great online exhibition featuring the work of photographer Frank Hurley, who documented Shackleton’s expedition to Antarctica in 1914-1916. There’s a heavy emphasis on how amazing Kodak products have been over the years, but looking at the pictures on show, they have a point:
“Frank Hurley considered his color photos “amongst the most valuable records of the expedition.” He was an early user of a method of color photography called the Paget process, which was introduced commercially little more than a year before the Endurance sailed.” More
We took a post-Christmas trip to the Lake District yesterday and had a very cold walk along the path from Elterwater to Skelwith Bridge. This photograph gives an idea of how cold, and how beautiful, it was. The Olympus E410 is an entry-level D-SLR, so it has its limitations, and the lighting conditions–frost, water, direct sun–were not easy to handle for a novice like me, but as you can see, it is remarkably good at photographing water. Click to view full size.
Yesterday we spent the afternoon at the Albert Dock and went to the Tate, where we enjoyed the brilliantly strange exhibits on the Fifth Floor. The picture below has nothing to do with the exhibition, but it is pretty, in a bleak sort of way.