Inspired by the English botanist and photographer Anna Atkins cyanotype process, this series of wearable cyanotypes explores the beautiful and ethereal nature of Australian fauna found within the Royal Botanical Gardens, Sydney. Through using found fauna and flora from the Botanic Gardens and UV sensitive cyanotype solution on fabric, this series of shirts represents my subjective understanding and interpretation of the gardens.
The cyanotype process has traditionally been rooted in the documentation of ferns and other plant life, particularly seen in the work of Anna Atkins. Atkins used the cyanotype process to create the first photographically illustrated book in 1844, with the subject being a documentation of British algae. Inspired by this process, each shirt in the series uses Australian flowers and cyanotype solution to create bold imprints that complement my experience within the Royal Botanic Gardens.
The decision to utilise wearables, as opposed to prints, was made so as to depict the rich and complex relationship between individuals and their surroundings, ensuring that the conceptual focus was placed on the experiences of individuals within the gardens. When in the gardens collecting flora and fauna, I found it was a sensory experience. I felt this experience was better translated when put on wearable clothing rather than a print, as it truly exhibited the gardens perennial nature.
Furthermore, I photographed my shirts in the gardens using 35mm film to showcase how they fuse and harmonize into the gardens. Through photographing the shirts in different locations, I want the audience to make the connection between the gardens landscape and the cyanotype process. Therefore I have created a series of shirts to showcase the forgotten botanic documentation process of the cyanotype. Through bringing the alternative photographic process into a contemporary fashion context it allows the audience to understand the beauty of Australian flora and the Royal Botanic Gardens.
Shot on Olympus Trip 35mm // Film Porta 400
Model: Chloe Moore // Instagram @kolohee