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The Chemistry of Form is a cyanotype series that addresses the possibilities of variation and unpredictability within organic structures. Aesthetically referencing early 19th century botanical cyanotypes, I have created fictitious and ambiguous organic structures that are in various stages of development. These formations are fluctuating between wholeness and separation, and at times alternate between micro and macroscopic visions. Some pieces are installations, hung freely on the gallery wall by specimen pins, while other images are framed rectangles in vertical orientation.

 

I began questioning the idea of standard form as an adult, while reflecting on my experiences as a child dealing with a cleft palate birth defect. This disruption in physical form served as an inspiration for this project. In this way, The Chemistry of Form project became a cathartic way to conceptualize, resolve, and express what I endured as a child.

The subject matter of the images is the cyanotype solution itself, which at times has been chemically altered. The change in chemistry produced unpredictable visual outcomes. There is a delicate balance between the photographer's visual intention, and the photographic solution. While I make initial decisions to set the photographic process in motion, I relinquish control over the medium by varying additional elements and allow them to randomly interact with the solution. This release of control was important to the work conceptually, and I consider it a reflection of the unexpected possibilities that form may manifest itself. It forced me to work around the given circumstances, applying methods of experimentation, reclaiming control in other aspects, which ultimately influenced the final product.

I began questioning the idea of standard form as an adult, while reflecting on my experiences as a child dealing with a cleft palate birth defect. This disruption in physical form served as an inspiration for this project. In this way, The Chemistry of Form project became a cathartic way to conceptualize, resolve, and express what I endured as a child.

The subject matter of the images is the cyanotype solution itself, which at times has been chemically altered. The change in chemistry produced unpredictable visual outcomes. There is a delicate balance between the photographer's visual intention, and the photographic solution. While I make initial decisions to set the photographic process in motion, I relinquish control over the medium by varying additional elements and allow them to randomly interact with the solution. This release of control was important to the work conceptually, and I consider it a reflection of the unexpected possibilities that form may manifest itself. It forced me to work around the given circumstances, applying methods of experimentation, reclaiming control in other aspects, which ultimately influenced the final product.

© 2020 by Alivia Magaña