Platinum/Palladium Photograms
Platinum Palladium
Passion Copyright 1994
Artist's Statement The Sun Print Series is my attempt to reflect on the past in the light of two centuries of progress. Over the centuries, photography has developed as a means to preserve man’s viewed images. The technology, and the implements needed to record and preserve man’s viewed images, evolved along two paths. One was the optical path----the long evolution of the camera and lens, the other, the chemical path---the effects of light on chemical substances. A photograph uses a negative in order to allow the maker to produce a number of prints of the same image. With sun prints, there is no negative, and as a result, no opportunity to replicate. Each print is unique. Like an artist with paint and brush, sun prints allow me to paint and compose with light, and to turn the mundane into the mysterious---but only once. A platinum/palladium sun print is formed from tiny particles of base metals embedded within the surface fibers of a fine-art paper. Because these metals are more inert than silver, and therefore not susceptible to attack by impurities or atmospheric pollutants, a platinum/palladium print enjoys a permanence for which it has no rival. The absence of a gelatine layer, or other coating, also leaves the paper surface exposed, conferring subtle, but distinctive optical qualities and its perfectly matte surface enables the image to be seen from any angle without the viewer experiencing reflective glare. The rich sepia browns are an intrinsic feature of the process, rather than the result of any subsequent ‘toning’ chemistry. It is the selection of the paper which allows for subtleties in regards to the striking hues of white. In this work, the light source is the sun between the months of May and September, as it shines on the west coast of America in the northern section of California’s great valley between the hours of 10am and 4pm.