Exhibition: The Old Garden – Diana Bloomfield

Exhibition: The Old Garden – Diana Bloomfield

Gold Street Studios & Gallery is hosting an exhibition of US photographer Diana Bloomfield’s tri-colour gum bichromate photographs.

‘Bloomfield’s painstaking tri-colour gum bichromate technique of layering three hues in perfect register imbues her prints with a nuanced, muted palette, at once refined and earthy. Bloomfield’s photographs are faded tributes to past glory: each fragile flower performs its unique swan song in vignette, a dulcet sonata of texture and form…’ 

Elin Spring, What Will You Remember , November 27, 2018

As part of my mission to create handmade art each day for a year, I began this series in 2018, purely by accident. The Old Garden honors my own Southern garden, which I view clearly from my back windows, and that of my grandmother’s, now seen only in my mind’s eye. Etched in deep faded hues, our gardens mingle, intertwine, and overlap. These flowers – although now permanently fixed as pigment encased in hardened gum arabic – remain, like my memories, as ephemeral as ever’. 

 Diana Bloomfield

The Gum Bichromate process can resolve fine detail in numerous colours. There is a high degree of artistic control in this beautiful print making process. Ultraviolet light reacts with the solution of gum Arabic, pigments and light sensitive dichromate coated onto cotton paper, hardening gum in proportion to the light passed through a negative. Colour layers are built up by repeating the process with the careful registration of contact negatives creating unique images.  This process was discovered by Alphonse Louis Poitevin in 1855, built on Talbot’s 1852 discovery of the light sensitivity of potassium bichromate and gelatin.

Gold Street Studios & Gallery. Trentham East. Victoria until 9 May 2021

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This article was written by
Ellie Young

Ellie Young owns and runs Gold Street Studio & Gallery.

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