Public Made Personal – Crossing over into Science


When I am painting it can be very much about being in the moment and following your mood, instinct – often not really knowing what I am doing -but enjoying the experience of making art, which is why I am interested in science and how it has collaborated with the world of art.

Art can be very wishie washie at times and when your an abstract artist like myself you can often feel like your head is up in the clouds which is why I am interested in the grounding, diagnostic approach of science.

With this painting I am using it as a starting point with my collaboration of science and my art practice. Specifically studying Anna Atkins an English Botanist who published the first photographic book  using an early form of photographic technique known as cyanotype printing or sun prints – Photographs of British Algae 1843.

Anna Atkins was a pioneering scientist of her time, with a scientific education encouraged by her father. Her book illustrates the beauty of science. Many artists use the cyanotype technique in their practice. This illustrates the similarities between art and science. I am not a scientist and I was very happy to receive a double C in my double science GCSE. And that’s as far as my career went in the scientific field. However I would have maybe learnt more if my science based lessons weren’t all about random experiments and learning from text books. Perhaps if Anna Atkins was tele ported to my chemistry or biology lesson to teach her cyanotype printing process, understanding how chemicals such as; ammonium ferric citrate and potassium ferricyanide will create light sensitive paper to make a sun print which can illustrate the perfect outline of flowers etc. I would have learnt from a context that was real and meant something to me. The way I learn is I need to understand how things work inside  and out, often having to get something wrong to understand how to do it right. However this didn’t always go down well in my schooling I often found teachers running out of patients.

Back to the painting……looking forward to seeing how it transforms and takes shape … muse Anna Atkins………………..

This painting is part of a body of work called Public Made Private using wall art which is mass produced and then painting over the original image to stamp my own painting on top. I am interested in the mass production of art and how its soul has some how become stripped away from the painting.





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