Cyanotype test printing – ideas

Having decided to bring back cyanotype into my Harena Now work I decided to try out some new ideas.

I gave this a brief mention in my July 8 post : – where I also mentioned I wasn’t convinced by my attempts.

I considered using maps of areas affected by illegal sand mining (taken from Google Earth) in the artwork . See Figs 1 – 4.

Fig. 1: Image of map printed out onto transparency film
Fig. 2: Image of cyanotype fabric cut to size
Fig. 3: Image of map being exposed on cyanotype
Fig. 4: Image of three different exposures of map after rinsing out cyanotype chemicals


I do not feel these have enough impact, and that to showcase all of the areas troubled by sand mining will need a different approach.

What I would like to do in future is perhaps visit the areas affected by this issue and photograph the people in situ, which can then be turned into cyanotype or lumen work.

It would also be good to delve deeper photographically into how ecosystems change due to this problem.

For my cyanotypes, I am going to concentrate on the circular work already started (see Fig. 5) that uses sand and seawater to create the images. They have a much stronger resonance with my MA process and with the whole context of my project.

Fig. 5: Purcell, 2018. Harena Now example

They contrast and reflect the lumen work in the sense that they are created the same way (sand, seawater, sunlight) and they provide a calmness to the frenzy of the lumens’ brightness and energy (Fig. 6).

Fig. 6: Purcell, 2018. Harena Now example

Now I have decided to include cyanotype once more I have a sense of completeness in this work.

We always have a choice about what decisions we make, and much like the influences that make people make choices that are perhaps not right for them, for others or the world around them, this choice brings a new element of serenity versus action.

It is symbolised by the two very different aesthetic outcomes and could open up new dialogues to create that conversation spark I have always wanted my work to encourage.

It will be interesting to see what people are drawn to and why.


Figure 1. PURCELL, Josie. 2018.

Figure 2. PURCELL, Josie. 2018.

Figure 3. PURCELL, Josie. 2018.

Figure 4. PURCELL, Josie. 2018.

Figure 5. PURCELL, Josie. 2018.  Harena Now

Figure 6. PURCELL, Josie. 2018.  Harena Now