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  • sarahkniveton


Research project

A practice-led investigation into the traditional uses of cyanotypes since 1840 and their relationship to contemporary art.

Title: Blueprint

A practice driven exploration of how cyanotypes can be used in combination with other processes and materials. To research the links between the traditional uses of cyanotypes as a record of natural forms and as blueprints for human constructions and a visual language of human induced environmental change.


1) Describe impetus –

An interest in how the cyanotype process has been used since its development in the 1840s by John Herschel and its earliest proponent Anna Atkins to record plant forms, to its use for copying human constructions and as a re-emergent method of printmaking in contemporary art.

I am interested in the links between the term ‘blueprint’ and the wider cultural meaning that it has taken on in the context of the need to find a blueprint to find a solution to the climate crisis that we face.

2) Explain approach –

Research the original uses of the cyanotype process and the visual language of the blueprint.

Practice-led exploring ways that the process can be made more environmentally friendly.

Practice led to explore the surfaces that can be used with the process – 2D and 3D, paper, ceramic, fabric etc.

Explore how images can be manipulated and transferred to cyanotypes. Explore how the cyanotype image can be incorporated with other media.

Peer feedback and review

The significance – It is of importance as it is an attempt to use and extend the possibilities of a low impact printing process to produce images.

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