Limerick School of Art & Design Cyanotype Response to Belonging

Limerick School of Art and Design Cyanotype Response

22 Blue

Twenty-two Cyanotypes were created by students from the Painting Department at the Limerick School of Art and Design, Technological University of the Shannon. 

Each student selected an artist to interpret from the EIB Belonging Exhibition at the Hunt Museum including Andy Warhol, Marlene Dumas, Paula Rego among others.

The diverse eclectic mix of cyanotypes aim to uncover and nurture a connection and a sense of belonging to European Contemporary Art and Artists.The alternative viewpoints and relationships offered through the cyanotypes engage with ideas of abstraction, humour, drawing, opticality and intuitive thinking.

Viewed as a collective whole or individually they add a vitality and sense of curiosity to how an emerging younger generation of artists can pivot a response to European Art and add to the flow of thinking around Contemporary Art of the 21st century.

Alan Keane

Programme Leader, Fine Art Painting LSAD.

The Cyanotype Process 

Cyanotype is an analog printing process first invented in 1842 by Sir John Herschel. Anna Atkins then used the process to produce the first photographically illustrated book which consisted of contact printing pieces of seaweed. Later it was used as a way of reproducing engineering and architecture plans, and so the term ‘Blue print’ was founded. 

This process itself consists of painting the cyanotype solution, which is made up of ferric ammonium citrate and potassium ferricyanide onto a piece of porous paper in the dark. Objects or a digital printed negative can be placed on top when it is dry. UV light from the sun or a UV bed then exposes this piece of paper. The paper is then fixed by soaking it in water. Cyanotype gets its name because of the rich blue colour it creates when the prints are washed and dried. 

I use the cyanotype process very frequently in my own artistic practice, so it was a great pleasure to organise and help create this project with the painting students of Limerick School of Art and Design. A massive thank you to the wonderful Robert Corrigan for providing the technical support on this project.

Clara McSweeney 

Visual Artist and Marketing Intern at The Hunt Museum