New pieces – new paper

Ilford kindly donated four boxes of expired paper a few years ago. Two are fibre-based and two are resin coated (see Fig. 1).

Fig. 1: Snap shot of black and white paper

For the majority of Harena Now I have used the Warm Tone Semi-Matt paper as it seems to create the most vivid blues, yellows and purples when auto-toned in Photoshop.

I recently made two new pieces (see Fig. 2 and 3) using the resin coated De Luxe Pearl. The images below were exposed in moderate sunshine for approx. 30 minutes before scanning and toning digitally.

Fig. 2: Josie Purcell, 2018. Harena Now
Fig. 3: Josie Purcell, 2018. Harena Now

With both these pieces I used builder’s sand and purposefully made tracks through it to hopefully replicate the lines of sand often seen at the beach. Until the sand is removed and the image manipulated it is hard to know what the result will be.

I am much more intrigued by Fig. 3 as it seems to suggests a Google Earth image of rivers flowing to the sea, rivers that may have changed naturally or been forced to change due to sand mining. When I look at it I want to be able to zoom in closer and discover who lives in this area – but it’s not real.

There’s an air of a Burtynsky (Fig. 4) about it, perhaps?

Fig. 4: Edward Burtynsky, 2012. Thjorsá River #1

Fig. 2 does not seem to hold the same allure and is not one I will use in public display. But I am keen on the contrasting colours, which jar and seem to fight for attention.

I have more images to make and more experimenting with papers, timing, UV strength etc. to determine how much each piece could be predicted, or not.


Figures 1 to 3: PURCELL, Josie. 2018. Harena Now.

Figure 4: BURTYNSKY, Edward. 2012. Thjorsá River #1 Iceland. Available at: [accessed June 17]