5th November 2019

TM Lighting is pleased to collaborate with University of the Arts London’s Made in Arts London to present the ‘MiAL 2019 Collection’ exhibition at TM Lighting Gallery , showcasing art and design from over 30 UAL students from 12th September to 29th November 2019. During the exhibition we’re highlighting some of the artists to learn more about their work at this important stage in their career:

Artist Spotlight: Eleanor Suess

  • UAL College: Central Saint Martins
  • Course: PhD
  • Graduation Year: 2020

Can you tell us a bit about the process behind your work?

I link my time-based work and cyanotype printing to explore the conventions of architectural “axonometric” drawing projection through the recording of the shadows of clear acrylic solid blocks and hollow cubes. In this collection I have used twelve configurations of the same four acrylic blocks to produce a series of original cyanotype prints which record the shadows and refracted and reflected light of each unique arrangement of the blocks. The parallel rays of sunlight which activate the cyanotype paper construct a sequence of images that follow the convention of non-perspectival oblique projection – a true plan is formed from the contact of the blocks on the paper, and the parallel sun rays trace the oblique side elevations. The resulting “blueprints” suggest an architectural or urban form; however, the abstract instrumentality of the axonometric drawing type is undermined through the materiality of the process: the shadows’ penumbras increase as they pull away from the picture place, blurring what were once sharp edges. As light travels through the solid, yet transparent material, it reveals imperfections in the acrylic as they become imprinted in the fine detail of the cyanotype.

What is the inspiration behind the pieces in the Collection?

This work takes reference from architectural representation, through the use of cyanotype “blueprints” and the conventions of non-perspectival oblique drawing projection. The work translates these abstracted drawing techniques, finding the impossible form of the axonometric in real space, via the shadows of objects as projected by sunlight.

Which artists inspire you or have had some influence on your work?

As a form of photogram printing the work takes some influence from the images of Moholy-Nagy and Man Ray, specifically the photograms where the three-dimensional nature of the object is apparent in the image. The work also takes substantial reference from the architectural drawing techniques of axonometric projection (to produce a non-perspectival, scalable three-dimensional image), and skiagraphy (the rendering of shadows on a two-dimensional drawing to indicate depth).

What feelings or response do you hope viewers will gain from seeing your work in the exhibition?

I hope the viewer experiences a tension between representational, architectural content and abstract imagery, and finds that they can read and interpret each piece in a range of ways and at several scales. I also hope that they find pleasure in the material nature of the cyanotypes, from the powerful colour, the subtle texture of the paper, to the detail embedded in each print.

What inspires you particularly about the medium you currently work in?

As one of the earliest forms of photographic printing, the simplicity and fundamental material nature of the process is embedded in the cyanotype artefact. The quality of presence and absence when making photograms of objects’ shadows provides an uncanny, haunting quality to the resultant images. Each shadow print is unique and embodies not only the object, now absent, but the constantly changing conditions of sunlight as received at a particular time and place. The use of the medium of the original process for architectural reprographic blueprints lends the opportunity of an architectural reading.

What would you like to achieve through your work?

The collection presented through MiAL is part of a wider project to develop the use of cyanotype printing to explore light and shadow in existing and propositional architectural space.

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