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  Life   Art  22 Oct 2017  An old blueprint for new art

An old blueprint for new art

Published : Oct 22, 2017, 12:39 am IST
Updated : Oct 22, 2017, 12:39 am IST

This city-based artist tells us about her newest love of creating art using a process which is almost 180 years old.

Pooja Harish
 Pooja Harish

Going back to the roots seems to be the flavour of the season. And 26-year-old artist-cum-yoga instructor from the city, Pooja Harish, is doing just that by creating artworks using the long-forgotten photographic printing process of cyanotype. Way back in the 1840s, engineers used to produce low-cost copies of drawings, referred to as blueprints, in cyan-blue colour using the cyanotype process.

Pooja explains, “The process requires a mix of two chemicals, ferric ammonium citrate and potassium ferricyanide. The chemicals are mixed with water separately and then the two solutions are blended together in equal parts and applied all over the medium.”

One of Pooja’s cyanotype artwork One of Pooja’s cyanotype artwork

She adds that her newfound love for the process is so simple that anyone can take it up and experiment with it. “In this age of digitisation, everyone is a photographer in their own merit. I especially love flowers and mountains. So select one of your favourite photos and using Adobe Photoshop, digitally convert it into a negative using a filter. Then take that printout on a plastic sheet at any photography shop. This one-time process enables you to create multiple artworks on any medium — paper, wood and cloth. The darkness of the final artwork depends on the amount of chemicals you apply and the sunlight it is exposed to. Place the negative on the paper where chemical is applied, put a glass frame on it and place it under the sun. The process takes around 15 minutes. You will get the final product after the chemicals are washed off under running tap water,” explains Pooja.


While her stint with cyanotype might be new, her association with the creative field is quite old. “I was studying biology in school where we had to draw diagrams. This is where I fell in love with art. Moreover, my grandfather was an artist and used to encourage me in all my endeavours. Even though I come from a very traditionally inclined and conservative family who did not like me venturing into the arts while leaving academics, it was my grandfather who believed in me and my work,” she says. So this passionate girl pursued a bachelors in fine arts and, somehow, felt a unique connection with sculpting.

Cyanotype artworks can be created in matters of 15 minutes when placed under sunCyanotype artworks can be created in matters of 15 minutes when placed under sun

She says, “The happiness that it gave me was immense; I didn’t care that it was a financially viable option or not.” Pooja now successfully dabbles into multiple creative fields, be it sculpting, painting or cyanotype. She plans to start an art cafe very soon for budding artists and is simultaneously working on a series where she is combining sculpture, painting and cyanotype in a single artwork.

One of Pooja’s cyanotype artworkaCyanotype artworks can be created in matters of 15 minutes when placed under sun

Tags: artworks, lifestyle