Five cyanotypes to celebrate the Olympic torch coming to St Andrews!

speccoll
Wednesday 13 June 2012

Early this morning, 13 June 2012, the Olympic torch will pass through St Andrews on its way down to Edinburgh. The torch is scheduled to be re-lit from a Fife miner’s lantern accompanied by the ringing of the St Salvator’s College Chapel bells at 7 am in St Salvator’s Quad. To celebrate this event, we’ve found something with an Olympic theme from the Photographic Collection that we’d like to share with all of our readers.

Below, we have made available a set of five cyanotypes by artist and photography historian Mike Ware. He describes them thusly: “These were made during the first two weeks of July 2004, on holiday in the small fishing village and resort of Posidonio, in the south-east of the Greek Island of Samos, birthplace of Pythagoras. The paper was brought, ready sensitized, from UK, and no equipment was used other than a cardboard box; they were simply processed in the apartment’s sink. The Olympic icon is the obvious leitmotif defining the structure of this set of photograms, because the Athens Olympics were due to take place the next month; but other references may be found to Hellenic culture and environment. Technically, some of these images are innovative, in that the photogram has been extended into the third dimension – none of the objects was pressed flat – indeed this would have been impossible with the sea urchins and the apples! The successful achievement of sharp images depended on the intense Aegean sun, and clear sky, and my new version of the cyanotype process, whose higher sensitivity reduced exposure times to about one minute.”

Oleander & Tamarisk (2004), a cyanotype by Mike Ware (Photographic Collection MW-1).
Garlic & Vetch (2004), a cyanotype by Mike Ware (Photographic Collection MW-2).
Sea Urchins & Acacia (2004), a cyanotype by Mike Ware (Photographic Collection MW-3).
Apples with Serpent (2004), a cyanotype by Mike Ware (Photographic Collection MW-4).
Wild Carrot for Pythagoras (2004), a cyanotype by Mike Ware (Photographic Collection MW-4).

This edition was limited to three, plus one set of artist’s proofs. All the pictures are approximately 10×8 inches on 12×10 inch sheets of ‘Buxton’ paper, handmade by Chris Bingham at Ruscombe Mill, Margaux, France.

DG

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One reply to "Five cyanotypes to celebrate the Olympic torch coming to St Andrews!"

  • Rachel Hart
    Rachel Hart
    Wednesday 13 June 2012, 2.55pm

    It was a very early start but my daughter and I enjoyed seeing the torch leaving the quad. We ran across town to see it again as it passed down South Street. Her teacher had told her that this was an event which was a once-in-a-lifetime and something that she would tell her grandchildren about so I couldn't really sleep in after that build-up!

    Reply

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