Until 31 October, 2015
If you’ve visited the Science Museum’s wonderful Julia Margaret Cameron exhibition – or plan to see the pioneering photographer’s work when a second Cameron show opens at the V&A in November – then the name Sir John Herschel will sound familiar. The scientist, astronomer, inventor and mathematician was a huge inspiration for Cameron and indeed in 1864 she named The Herschel Album, the body of work she was then most proud of, after him. You can see The Herschel Album at the Science Museum alongside Cameron’s hauntingly beautiful portrait of the man himself (Cameron’s portrait of Herschel will also be at The V&A show). Among Herschel’s many achievements was his 1842 invention of cyanotype photogram printing, a process that creates a beautiful blue (cyan blue) image, without the need for a camera. We first discovered cyanotypes when we did a workshop with the artist and photographer Elisabeth Scheder-Bieschin, and we fell in love with both the process itself and the images it can (if you are Scheder-Bischin, say) create. Then, almost immediately after that, the way these things happen, we saw Walead Beshty’s wonderful and inspiring cyanotype installation at The Barbican’s Curve Gallery. So yes, we became hooked on cyanotypes – though have hardly seen another since Beshty’s incredible wall display back in February of this year.
So we were very excited to learn that Scheder-Bieschin has started exhibiting her cyanotypes, and from 1st November they will also be available to buy through the small and specialist publishing house, Silver Jungle. You can see them during Frieze, from the 9th to 31st October, at the Camden art gallery 43 Inverness Street, where they will arrive after spending September adorning Paul Smith’s lovely flagship shop at No. 9 Albermarle Street. The prints, inspired by nature, are unique, fragile objects, and all are very beautiful and very beautifully made. They are really worth seeing, so do head to Camden by the end of the month.