Wendy Currie – Photographer / Printmaker

About the works: femininity-and-memory-why-chrysotype-1

Catalogue of titles, prices and images. femininity-memory

I recently asked Wendy a few questions about her upcoming exhibition at Blanco Negro (18th October 2018, 6pm – 8pm). Please read below to view the answers.


Q1 How long did this exhibition take to finish.

About one year.

Q2 What were the steps involved? From negative to print.

I make large negatives using Photoshop and print out onto Folex inkjet Reprojet clear film (bit like overhead transparency film). Chrysotype process is another contact printing process ie. the negative is the same size as the finished image.

Chrysotype was first invented by Sir John Herschel in 1850’s, and 150 years later Dr. Mike Ware, a British chemist, spent a decade researching and refining this process.

I use Bergger watercolour paper for all my images, as it’s acid free, and totally archival.

Chrysotype uses 3 chemicals – gold chloride, ferric ammonium oxalate and liguand which combines all the chemicals together. After mixing the chemicals, I use a glass rod to spread the chemicals across the paper and then leave it to dry. I use a hairdryer for 5 – 10 mins to thoroughly dry the paper. This is an essential part of the process.

I place the negative in contact with the sensitized paper and expose in a vacuum UV lightbox for just over a minute.

After removing the negative, the paper is held over a hot water bath. The paper immediately absorbs the water vapours which affects the resulting colours.

The image is then put into a tray of citric acid & water, followed by further chemical baths and finally washed for 40 mins to an hour. The resulting colours vary from mushroom pinks to slatey blues are determined by exposure, temperature of the water vapour, developer and the humidity and temperature in the room. A tricky but beautiful process.


Q3 Did you make these prints in a home darkroom or elsewhere?

I made the prints in a friends darkroom


Q4 How did you learn this process, self taught or from a tutor?

I was fortunate enough to attend Dr. Mike Ware’s Chrysotype workshop when he was out in Australia at Ellie Young’s Gold Street Studios at Trentham East. Also, did a refresher course a year or so later with Ellie.


Q5 Why did you choose this process for the exhibition?

I work with many alternative photographic processes, but I feel that the soft pinks and slatey blues of the Chrysotype process really portray the femininity of the objects in this exhibition.


Thank you Wendy for these insights. I am looking forward to seeing you at the opening

Chris reid



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