Thinking of You . . .

About the project:

As part of the TINY Art for All Project, I'm excited to participate and share cyanotype-based images during my artist residency. I will be updating work onsite in Gallery 1, where I'm stationed for the project. Please follow along and make art with me following the daily art prompts that I'll share below. You can share your art/videos on Instagram using the project hashtags #thinkingofyouartresidency and #artforallNoho. I have fun ways to interact with the project and will be leaving little offerings in the gallery.

The gallery installation date is Monday, October 9, 2023. Stay tuned. 

I am exploring this art project through the TINY Art 4 All Gallery (a pop-up art gallery located along the bike path in Northampton, MA). This project is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council and Friends of the Northampton Rail Trail. You can find my work at Gallery 1 located at 281 State Street/Stoddard and follow my daily art prompts on Instagram: @nikkigardnerphotography 

Check back to get your daily art prompts, art workshops, artist talk, and art updates. 

Artist Statement:

"Thinking of You," is a photography-based series by artist Nikki Gardner using cyanotype (blueprint) chemistry and printed materials to explore memory and meaning. 

I am exploring both memory and material in image making and photography. Photographs have become blueprints for our memories. How often do we rely on a photographic image to help us recall the past, including people, places, and moments that fade over time?

The cyanotype process was invented in 1842 by the Englishman Sir John F.W. Herschel (1792-1871), who planned to use it for reproducing mathematical tables. The series' use of the Prussian blue color derived from the historic cyanotype process acts like a running thread. I began experimenting with the cyanotype medium for its distinctive blue color and its ease of use in reproduction. The cyanotype process was once used by photographers when out in the field to create a negative proof. It was also once used to make architectural blueprints.

I am fascinated by how cyanotype can act as a blueprint for memory, like a sketch or draft of a scene. I have been layering botanical images created with cyanotype chemistry on vellum over vintage book pages and adding pencil and paint to help shape the layer of remembrance. The idea of the photograph continues to change with technology while the object of a photograph, once considered a document of truth, is now a constructed narrative. 

For this series, I cut out characters from magazines, using only silhouettes, to build a fictional narrative. I also cut shapes to create a landscape for the characters to dwell in. I painted vellum sheets with cyanotype chemistry and added the silhouetted figures and objects or settings to the scene for the top cyanotype layer. The collaged layers consist of marked-up vintage book pages and botanical cyanotype prints, which read like a domestic interior. Each image encapsulates the feeling of a place, time, and memory dreamed or remembered, almost like a film still or cinematic scene. These fixed images act as subjective views of reality, juxtaposing the past and the present, romance and reality, fact and fiction. 

Respond to the daily art prompts using your medium of choice and share your work on Instagram. Tag @nikkigardnerphotography and use the hashtags #thinkingofyouartresidency and #artforallNoho

Using Format