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The Admiral's House — Skye

The Admiral's House  — Skye

Christina Riley - The John Byrne Award.jpg
 
 

In March I spent two weeks on the Isle of Skye at The Admiral's House, run by Wasps Artist Studios. 

Since my visit to Easdale Island I've been taken aback by how beautiful and varied it is. And that's before we get into how resourceful it can be (did you know that Scotland recently started its first seaweed farm which could harvest seaweed for food, beauty products and even bio-fuel?).

I didn't get quite that far (although I did make some sea lettuce seasoning!) but I did spend two weeks on the coasts of Skye photographing the shores and collecting seaweed to create a series of cyanotypes and pressed prints.
 

Cyanotypes

If researching seaweed and photographs of seaweed, you'll likely come across the name Anna Atkins. Atkins is known to many as the first female photographer, and the first person to illustrate a book with photographs. Interesting enough alone, but what's particularly fascinating is that she was also a recognised botanist and chose to photograph botanicals, seaweed in particular. 

The process of creating a cyanotype is a relatively simple one. All you need is some paper and chemicals (or even pre-treated paper). Choose an object or negative to place on top and place in some sunshine. Wait, rinse and repeat. 

The color blue strikes some chord in us that goes beyond words. It’s that simple.”
— Jeffrey Fraenkel
 
 
 Seaweed on treated paper during exposure.

Seaweed on treated paper during exposure.

 Water placed on top of glass to create additional shadows. Careful with those IKEA markings. 

Water placed on top of glass to create additional shadows. Careful with those IKEA markings.