Blue and white is all right at the Waterfront

Cabinet of Curiosities at UCS, August 2015

Cabinet of Curiosities at UCS, August 2015 - Credit: Archant

Cabinet of Curiosities is making art at UCS

Cabinet of Curiosities at UCS, August 2015

Cabinet of Curiosities at UCS, August 2015 - Credit: Archant

Artist and fine art lecturer Jane Watt has brought her The Cabinet of Curiosities to UCS last Saturday at Ipswich Waterfront.

The project involves placing curious items into light sensitive paper to make brilliant blue and while cyanotypes, one of the oldest forms of capturing a photographic image. She has made the cyanotypes in her bright blue mobile studio.

Jane was commissioned as Darwin Green Artist-in-Residence in Cambridge to develop this temporary project.

Over 500 people took part in the project in Cambridgeshire and there is now an extensive archive of over 300 cyantypes. An exhibition of all these images, together with an online archive and documentary film is on show at the UCS Waterfront Gallery through until September 4.

Jane said “This project is all about community involvement.

“It was great to see the wondrous things the people of Ipswich and surrounding area brought along. I’ve loved using this process. It is quite magical and produces a unique image everytime.

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“It is also very lo-tech – you just use sunlight (or a UV light if the sun isn’t shining) and water. The mobile studio has been really popular – we’ve had over 1000 visitors in the past few months in Cambridgeshire. I’ve made cyanotype images of extraordinary, as well as quite everyday things: from necklaces and leaves to a piece of meteorite and even a wig!”

“Some of the cyanotype images that we made in Ipswich created an instant exhibition in the coffee shop, Theta complementing the exhibition The Cabinet of Curiosities, my entire cyanotype archive of over 300 images in the Waterfront Gallery.”

Paper cutting artist Emma Daniels from Ipswich came along to Jane’s mobile studio on Saturday with a paper wreath as her curious item.

She said “My rose vine wreath was left over from an art project I was working on.

“I wanted to do more with it and thought it would be perfect to be included in this exhibition. I can relate to Jane’s work as mine is also about silhouettes and I like the watercolour effect than can be created. I made some cyantypes when I was at uni but they were just black and not as fun as the bright blue ones Jane makes.”

Ian Robbins, also from Ipswich, used to be in the Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC) and brought the medals he received after the Gulf War along.. He said “My wife used to work at UCS and told me about the exhibition. I am familiar with cyantypes so I know that ideally you need to use objects that have a strong outline; I brought along my medals as I thought they would create a nice shape.”

More than 300 cyantypes by Jane are on display at the Waterfront Gallery until September 4.

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