Posts Tagged ‘cyanotype’

John Wood: Types of Alternative Cyano-Prints

September 6, 2009

While researching the cyanotype, invented by Sir John Herschel in 1842, I came across Alfred University’s very own John Wood- a prolific photographer and printmaker.

The earliest use of the cyanotype- a non-silver based print which photosensitizes ferric chloride, ferric ammonium citrate, and potassium ferricyanide- held its presence in the scientific and experimental realm by Anna Atkins and her contact prints of algae in 1843. Atkins created the first ever photography book, Photographs of British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions.

"Dictyota dichotoma," Anna Atkins, 1843

"Dictyota dichotoma," Anna Atkins, 1843

After serving the United States Air Force in World War II, John Wood attended the Chicago Institute of Design and later taught photography and printmaking at Alfred University (thus the John Wood Print Studio).

John Wood is not a simple photographer or printmaker. He utilizes both processes in the most of his work, bringing together a dichotomy of chemical alchemy and hand drawn or painted prints.

"Beaver Dam," John Wood 1986

"Beaver Dam," John Wood 1990

"Hands, Beaver Dam, Windmill, and Yellow," John Wood 1990

"Hands, Beaver Dam, Windmill, and Yellow," John Wood 1990

Wood thematically uses dead birds though out his works which I see as personally symbolic for the artist, given his stint in the Air Force.

"Loon Drawer and Bomb," John Wood 1987

"Loon Drawer and Bomb," John Wood 1987

Wood also uses text within his photomontages, demonstrating some of his darkroom technique and continuing imagery.

"Blackbird Some Have Hunger" John Wood 1986

"Blackbird Some Have Hunger" John Wood 1986

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