Olive Dean features in the Members’ spotlight with her favourite process lumenography.
About Olive Dean
Olive Dean, born UK , grew up and was educated in Edinburgh. After various pursuits in UK and abroad she trained in painting at Edinburgh as a mature student, graduating BA.Hons,1989. Not being able to fund herself by art work alone, a series of casual work followed including private teaching, sales agent at exhibitions etc, exhibiting where possible. In the last three years or so, alternative photography seems to have taken over, using camera-less procedures such as lumenography and cyanotype, also producing analogue work and pinholes. She found the website AlternativePhotography.com very useful when she started out her pursuit of the processes. This summer, 2015, Edinburgh hosted an important series of mainly alternative photography exhibitions, one of which, “ACTINIC” accepted work.
My favourite process is the lumenograph: I find these work best on expired black and white papers, (mainly acquired online) and it’s fun to discover what varied results can be obtained by trying different brands or qualities. A variety of subtle hues can be obtained in the images, when combining procedures such as cyanotype and lumenograph.
The old adage “not an exact science” is an apt one: the interplay of randomisation, accident and “controlled chance” to quote Jackson Pollock is for me exciting!
Also the whims of solar power here in Scotland is an unpredictable, if sometimes frustrating addition to my artistic practice. Failure is not infrequent! My work is mainly inspired by nature in all its forms – it infallibly provides us with the best in design even in the most mundane of surroundings; the only requirement is closer observation and a good eye.
Being an experienced gardener and plantswoman helps. I am also inspired by the work of English botanist and photographic pioneer Anna Atkins (1799-1871) who produced wonderful botanic cyanotypes: Edinburgh was fortunate to see some of her original work recently exhibited at Stills gallery.