The Botany of Blue: Cyanotypes after Anna Atkins
In 1843, a botanist and photographer named Anna Atkins self-published her first book of cyanotype photograms. Anna Atkins, who is often cited as the first woman photographer, has inspired many with her collection of images that are both scientific and artistic. Cyanotypes are contact prints on light-sensitive paper, bridging photography and printmaking. UV light hitting treated paper triggers a chemical reaction that forms an intense blue dye. This workshop commemorates the work of Atkins by sharing the art form and process of creating cyanotypes.
After looking at historical examples of cyanotypes and the work of Anna Atkins, students will explore the process through creating their own botanical prints. Working out of doors, students will use sunlight to make images from native flora, flower shop clippings and hand drawn transparencies. No previous experience necessary for this explorative, and playful process.