During high summer daylight hours at Aldeburgh Beach Lookout, artist Jane Watt used an early photographic process, the cyanotype, to capture moments of stillness on Aldeburgh Beach.
Jane used this camera-less process that utilises shadows, to create striking blue and white life-size photogram images of bodies on fabric that lie across the shingle. The result was a glimpse, or a suggestion of form; a trace.
A year after Marcel Duchamp’s iconic Fountain was exhibited, Duchamp produced his last painting on canvas: Tu m’ (1918). His preoccupation with the readymade continues across the 10ft wide painting. However, this time, the presence of the objects is only suggested through cast shadows.
Duchamp’s friend and collaborator, the photographer Man Ray, continued to experiment with photographic traces of everyday objects through the ‘rayograph’, or photogram. Theorist Rosalind E. Krauss remarks on this process:
“The image created in this way is of the ghostly traces of departed objects; they look like footprints in sand, or marks that have been left in dust”.
Jane Watt is an artist based in East Anglia who has made work in the public realm for over twenty years.
Inspired by everyday materials, situations and spaces, she tries to create extraordinary and delightful interventions that uplift and challenge the viewer’s usual perception of that object or environment.
Jane is a senior lecturer at the University of Suffolk. www.janewattprojects.com