Tina Rowe

Residing in Estonia

I am coming to the end of a residency in Tartu, Estonia.  I arrived on 7th April, should have got here on 3rd, but there was a pilot’s strike and Lufthansa cancelled my flight. I am leaving on 2nd May, as long as Lufthansa don’t have another kerfuffle.

I wanted to do this particualr residency because it is in a printing museum.  I admit that i have not made as much use of the facilities as I could have, but this is in part because of the differences between where I am from and where I am now.

What i have done is attempted to make the best of what i have had access to.  I was lucky to find a darkroom which is due to be dismantled in June.  The people at the museum hope to take the equipment in the near furture and i hope they do.  I am glad i did find the place as it enabled me to make some largish emulsion prints.

Doing them presented me with some issues I had not encountered before.  I was using the emulsion wet, but this meant the that paper buckled and i had real problems coating the surface evenly.  I almost gave up, but then I just tore it into strips to make the prints.

the results are quite good.

The main issue I then had was quite a few images from the pinhole and the hasselblad, but no way of printing them without returning to the darkroom, which I didn’t want to do, this is supposed to be an exercise in using alternative chemistry.

So now I am making contact prints from the hasselblad negs with cyanotype on a UV unit.  They are working quite well but also exposing my poor metering in these conditions.  However, this is also a bonus as this has been about responding to an environment and now I can say that this is something I have done.

I have learned about drypoint etching and made a couple of them, I have also learned about solvent transfers, which are ok,but boy do they give me a headache.

Finally, i am really glad that I bought the polaroid back as i also have a set of colour lifts that I took.  They are nice, sitting on some bits of oak left over fom Kirke’s experiments.

I guess the high point was just being immersed in the light, realising how different it is here and also Tarmo buying me a Kiev 4, any gift of a camera is a good thing.  The low point has been being constantly ill since I was in Saaremaa, which is a whole other story in and of itself.  There is nothing like spending 3 days in the company of people who are old enough to be your children to make you feel old and also feel smug, because at least that part of my life is something that I will never have to do again.

Anyway, this is some of what I did.

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