Original Cyanotype, handmade paper, chemically painted, heat treated copper leaf.

Handmade recycled cotton rag paper:
320gsm & 640gsm / 100% Cotton Rag / Recycled / Acid Free / Medium Rough

This artwork was inspired by English novelist Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. A skilled editor and critic, influential travel writer, literary historian, poet and political radical, she is best known for her gothic horror classic Frankenstein. Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, published over 200 years ago, is often called the first modern work of science fiction. It's a wildly inventive tale, one that flowed from an exceptional young woman's imagination and, at the same time, reflected the anxieties over new ideas and new scientific knowledge that were about to transform the very fabric of life in the 19th century. Hers was a hyper-literate household attuned to the latest scientific quests, and her parents hosted many intellectual visitors. These visitors influenced and ignited Mary's passion for science, experimentation and thirst for knowledge. Frankenstein grew out of the experiences Mary Shelley shared with her mother and with her half-sister Fanny. Unmarried mothers and illegitimate daughters were hated by society, just like Frankenstein's innocent creature, Wollstonecraft became an outcast the moment she had Fanny. Fanny became an outcast the moment she was born and the cycle continued when Mary eloped with Shelley leaving his pregnant wife behind and in turn ostracising herself from her family and society.

This artwork was created by constructing a hand-cut collage using female photographic portraiture, photograms made from homegrown petri-dish cultures, cell structures from antique microscopic slides, and an illustration of a foxes skull. After coating the handmade paper with light-sensitive chemistry, it is left to dry in a dark room. The large-scale negative is contact printed onto the paper by exposure to daylight (UV rays). The print is then processed by thoroughly washing in water to remove any unexposed solution. It can then be hung to dry, developing to full density Prussian blue after 24 hours. Once the image is fixed it is hand finished with chemically painted and sprayed, heat treated copper leaf. I hand finished the piece using chemically painted copper to link to her idea of reanimating
Frankenstien using the scientific concept of galvanism. This process uses metals and electrical current to shock corpses back into a semi life state. She witnessed this first hand at another scientific lecture she attended as a teenager. This is taken from a series of cyanotypes based on females in history and mythology. Ones who particularly inspire me, deserve to be recognised and celebrated as powerful figures in time. I want to visually tell a story with each piece to celebrate the lives of these amazing women using
portraiture, symbolism and surrealism. I expose all my pieces in natural light for up to a couple of weeks. Printing in all weather conditions, doing everything by eye and in the most organic way possible, this enables me to be at one with each piece I create and capture the true essence of Mother Nature within.

The skull mask was to reflect her London upbringing by using an animal who embodies the spirit of the city so perfectly, it also draws parallels to her creation of Frankenstein's monster and the masks women have to wear in society. I grew cultures inside petri dishes on agar jelly and left to develop for weeks to create a symbolic world, a creation of life, an idea evolving reflecting the creation of Mary's
monster. The same idea was used in printing photographs using antique microscope slides, a symbol of new life but also a direct link to Mary's love of science and attending lectures on scientific
procedures of the time.

Signed by the Artist.

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Height 14.5 cm / 5 34"
Width 14.5 cm / 5 34"
Depth 3 cm / 1 "