The monochromatic sea of blue and white ghost-like images, Chloe McCarrick revolutionises what we believe the cyanotype photography method can do. Creating an array of collections featuring some of the strongest feminine heroines in history, fiction and literature in her unique and aesthetic collection of Beyond the Blue.
London-based artist Chloe McCarrick initially studied fine arts and art history, but later found a love for photography and print based media after exploring her own practices while lecturing in both photography and interactive media before solely focusing entirely on her own practices in this media and relocating to London.
Cyanotype photography is the method of laying objects upon paper saturated with iron salts and exposing it to UV lights before This is simply one step in McCarrick's creative process she uses to tell the narrative of unsung heros of science, influential women and natural history.
Naturally, Chloe's work is the result of extensive research, curiosity, freedom and experimentation to develop a meticulous distinctive style in her portfolio of artworks. Blending art techniques and taking inspiration from more traditional approaches while redefining the rules as she goes creating a contemporary edge to tell visualised stories of astounding women and celebrating their often-untold achievements and battles they may have faced.
Not only does the work itself speak boldly about feminist history, but the camera-less technique itself was pioneered by a female scientist and fellow photographer, Anna Atkins in her ninetieth century book of illustrations of botanical specimens.
After she has created the base of her artwork, she apples multiple layers of a glue type called size with a fine paintbrush onto the areas in which she wishes to cover in metal leaf. After leaving to cure for up to 24 hours, until slightly tacky to touch, Chloe apples individual sheets of metal leaf using a wide variety of gilding brushes to avoid tearing any part of the work. Once in place, she smooths out the creases and presses firmly into any remaining crevices of the handmade paper and whisks away the excess with a brush. A week later the piece is ready for framing. Chloe likes to be as hands on as possible when creating work. Focusing on every mark made, every layer added, and every texture and material explored. Personalised by touch itself. In one interview, Chloe explains that she takes a rather scientific approach to realising each piece of work and strips it down to each process and technical element in stages in order to evolve and interact in order to capture the basic elements of historical image making, pushing boundaries on how we view photographic portraiture in the digital realm which we live in today.