Blueprint Series: The City Recollected
Cyanotype on watercolor paper
Edition of 3
22" x 30”
The City Recollected
Memory is the ability to recall information. Items many of us keep on instant recall, such as a password, a bank account number, or a person’s name, are hard facts. They are either remembered correctly or they’re not. Then there are other memories, ones that are more elusive and imbued with feelings. A first kiss, the first time visiting a new city, a birth or a death, these types of memories are often mutated by emotion. Recollections can be shortened, elongated, or remembered out of sequence. Sometimes our wants and wishes are substituted for reality in a memory, other times memories seem to disappear completely.
This body of work concentrates on memories of a place - Philadelphia. The images of buildings in this work are all based on actual structures from different neighborhoods all over the city, but here they are jumbled and rearranged through the filters of memory, distance and emotion. These images allow the city to take on a new physical form and become a semblance of Philadelphia. A view of the city that is intangible, but through these blueprints, has a distinct history.
The Blueprint Series are Cyanotypes, an alternative photographic printing process most often used between the late 1800’s and early 1970’s by architects and engineers to make blueprints for building. Where memories are mutable, shifting with time, architectural blueprints are exact instructions for the correct way to build something. The printing process creates a white line on a blue background. For architects this meant using a sheet of thin paper and India ink to trace a drawing and create a negative image. In this series, each piece began as cut paper work. A single sheet of paper was cut out to create a negative image. Each sheet of watercolor paper was hand painted with light sensitive chemicals, the paper cutout placed on top and the piece was exposed to light. The original series of paper cutouts were begun during an Artist Residency in Wexford Co. Ireland and were shown at an exhibit in The Philadelphia International Airport.