“Chemistry + Nature = Art” by Sarah Bourne Rafferty
A “Cyanotype” is the type of print created by artist Sarah Bourne Rafferty when she combines natural elements with a chemical process. Her work is an ever-evolving attempt to dissect and display what is happening as the seasons change.
Rafferty earned an MFA in Book Arts/Printmaking from The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA and a BA in Studio Art, concentrating in Photography and Book Arts, from Warren Wilson College, Asheville, NC. She continued her studies at Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia, BookWorks in Asheville, and Maine Media in Camden, ME, among others. She is the founder of Atwater Designs, a design studio producing original cyanotypes, fine art prints and paper goods. She also teaches photography at The Agnes Irwin School.
The cyanotype derives from an ancient photographic process that begins by painting a light-sensitive chemical solution onto paper. Once dry, a photogram is created when the paper, holding a natural object, is exposed to the sun. Fully exposed, the paper is developed in a water bath. The result is a white silhouette on a Prussian blue background ,which due to the chemicals, is always blue and white.
“Walking in the woods, even through my backyard garden, is the starting point of my creative process. It is a meditation and reminds me daily how important it is to take note of where we are, and to breath. Nothing helps to center me like being among the beauty of open spaces. I first experimented with cyanotypes and alternative process photography in college. I fell in love with the techniques. I’m drawn to the process incorporating the chemistry of photography and the tactile quality of printmaking which join to connect me more fully to the natural world. Each cyanotype is a unique record of my time in nature: the light, the shadows, the wind, and the time of year. The poetry of the moment is uniquely marked on the page.”
Sarah gives a portion of her proceeds to land and water conservation in southeastern Pennsylvania. Follow along on her creative journey via Instagram: @atwaterdesigns.
Sarah’s paintings will be available from Tuesday, February 18-Friday, March 27