Of all things, I’m most interested in process. How something fixed can become unfixed in the presence of a different element and how once joined, those elements in turn make something else.
I was interested in incorporating process as part of the artwork as a means of considering how the environment is an actor in any process and not just a backdrop or tool. Cyanotype is a photographic process that can be done away from the darkroom. The 19th C botanist Anna Atkins used it to capture the plants she studied and in so doing produced the first published work that was accompanied by photographs. I like the cyanotype process because it is simple and also reminiscent of magic. To liquids when mixed become a light sensitive potion.
The choice of a wedding dress was deliberate. As an object it is loaded with a slew of agreed meanings and a further load of personal interpretation. Its whiteness meant that any change in hue was immediately apparent and dramatic. The change from exposed unwashed chemistry to the shift to blue when it is touched by water reflects the simple gesture of a pen swipe.
The objects painted on the dress are also totemic, the scallop shell especailly so as it marks both the way and the pilgrims along the routes of the Camino from the Alps in France or up through Guimarães in Portugal.
One thing I was not aware of at the time, was Yemọja/Iemanjá/Nossa Senhora dos Navegantes. Yemọja went along with the stolen people from West Africa to the Caribbean and Americas. I knew nothing about this Orisha, her cults and certainly nothing about her association with the water and the colour blue. And for me at least, strangest of all, in Havana, her day is 7th September, which is the day this was filmed.
I went to Havana just after my mother died. I was tired and sad and I wanted to be in the sea. I was processing my grief after her long and slow decline. I left Cuba a happier person than the one who had arrived.