Cyanotypes in the shape of 3D sculptures

Who said cyanotypes have to be a flat 2-dimensional piece of art? Amy Heller had been working with cyanotypes for a long time and wanted to try something new, so she turned to 3-dimensional sculpture.

Photography / Amy Heller

Amy Heller’s “Still Lives” evolved into a series of three-dimensional, collaged cyanotype on fabric sculptures using photographs of classical sculpture, starting with mannequins and then using eggs, a symbol of renewal. They are more narrative, exposed, and cerebral in nature and explore subjects such as astronomy, self-portraits, psychological themes, etc. They “wear” their stories on the surface, inviting the viewer to experience their own interpretation.

3D cyanotype sculpture: "Stuck" is called stuck because the material is stuck onto the torso with both acupuncture needles and regular needles.
“Stuck” is called stuck because the material is stuck onto the torso with both acupuncture needles and regular needles.
The back of the 3D cyanotype sculpture
The sculpture is on a turntable because Amy loves motion.
A torso is being used for 3D cyanotypes
Here Amy has modified the torso to have a skirt and is in the process of attaching fabric with glue and pins.
Glue on the cyanotypes
Cyanotype cutouts are being glued or pinned on to the torso.

“I am always looking for the next shape to use, so I started with eggs. Eggs are the symbol of life.”


Cyanotype eggs
Wooden egg with a miniature camera from Amy’s miniature collections.


Printing cyanotypes on eggs
Amy uses all kinds of eggs: Real eggs, wooden, plastic or plaster.

“I am always in search for the next thing, so I’m looking at different plastic shapes… as my husband says; ‘I am an artist in search of a medium that hasn’t been invented yet’. Maybe I’ll invent it. Who knows?”

See the video on 3D cyanotype sculptures:

Watch the video on YouTube

More of Amy Heller’s sculptures


Good luck!

A native of Washington, D.C., award-winning artist Amy Heller has been coming to Provincetown (Cape Cod) every summer since she was a child, walking and combing the beaches with her mother. Amy earned her BA in fine art at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts, and her MFA in photography at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. She has been an exhibit specialist for the Smithsonian Museums and the National Gallery of Art, and a photo editor/researcher/curator for U.S. News & World Report, National Geographic, Microsoft, in Washington, D.C. She lives year-round on Cape Cod with her husband. See more on Amy Heller’s website

3 thoughts on “Cyanotypes in the shape of 3D sculptures”

  1. Hello, I am currently a student at Bristol UWE, studying Photography, exploring sustainable processes in relation to photographic processes. I would love to have a conversation with you about your work. Thank you!

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