Like everyone, or almost everyone, (Florida, I’m looking in your direction), we’re at home because of Minnesota’s Shelter in Place order. Another week to go, although it may be extended. I’ve been home now for 17 days and won’t deny that it’s all getting to be a little odd, but, it has to be done.
In the meantime, here are some images of houses that I made in the U.K. Many of the houses and gardens are known because of their famous owners, such as the poet Vita Sackville-West or the playwright George Bernard Shaw. The images, 20 in all, were originally printed in platinum-palladium on Weston Diploma paper, a nice paper but one that had no wet strength and was a bit of a pain to work with. The full image gallery can be found here.
(Left to right) Scotney Castle Boathouse, Sissinghurst Castle, home of the poet and author Vita Sackville-West, Shaw’s Place, home to George Bernard Shaw, Kelmscott Manor, home of William Morris, and Levens Hall.
Late Afternoon Sun, The Badlands, SD
Camera: Rolleiflex 3.5F
Film: Ilford Delta 400
Film Developer: PMK Pyro
Paper: Adox MCC 110
Paper Developer: Edwal LPD
There are a couple of shows that I’m included in opening soon. The first is in Verona, Italy, as part of the Grenze Arsenali Fotografici festival. Three prints of mine from Otherworld, printed on vintage silver-gelatin paper, are included in the Obsolete and Discontinued exhibition that’s been travelling around Europe in Spain, Germany, Italy and the UK. More information on the project can be found here and the book is available here.
The second is of a small polymer photogravure that was requested for inclusion in a show in Bodenburg, Germany, at the Kunstverein Bad Salzdetfurth (Bad Salzdetfurth Art Association). This is most likely the only time I’ll be showing my work alongside many of the greats, including Louise Bourgeois, Marc Chagall and Jenny Holzer, and so I’m really grateful to Hans-Werner Kalkmann for this opportunity.
“After the first four international group exhibitions in the cycle “Artistic Techniques”, in which we showed drawings, paintings, woodcuts and serigraphs, we turn to the technique of etching with this exhibition. Their broad design spectrum ranges from drypoint etching to etching on a photographic basis. We are pleased that we can show an extensive collection of contemporary works of international importance in our overview.”
— Kunstverein Bad Salzdetfurth website
One of the bigger developments of this process over the past few years has been the direct-to-plate method. This involves printing the image directly on a plate using the front manual feed of the printer. The microscopic dots from the printer’s stochastic pattern acting like, and replacing the need for, an aquatint screen. After a brief exposure to UV light (without any screen, film or contact frame) the ink is washed off and the plate processed as normal. After this it’s the same as usual – ink, wipe and pull a print. Not having a screen and film positive eliminates a lot of the obstacles that many fall foul of; dust and insufficient contact being the two main culprits.
I offered this optional way of working to a workshop many years ago but it was still a fairly new method then, and although most of the participants got really good results, a few images, especially those that had a lot of detail in the lighter tones, were lacking. So I’ve been working on getting the adjustment curve perfected and I think I’m there. The next MCAD workshop starts this week and I think it’s going to be a whole lot of fun!
The Badlands, SD — Direct to Plate polymer photogravure (apologies for the low quality iPhone photo)
Over at my other website I’ve started posting about projects I’m working on and general studio ‘stuff’. This is me trying to keep my personal work separate from that of the work I do for other photographers and artists.
In October I’m teaching another workshop at MCAD – An Introduction to Clamshell Box Construction. It’s just two Saturdays however – October 12th and 19th. More details and registration on MCAD’s website.
And while we’re at it, take a look at, and follow, my studio Instagram account too — @keithtaylorstudio.