• The emerging evidence of a time through the emergence of an image through time: a correlation between the early photographic imaging processes anthotypes and natural dyes

      Wells, Kate; Jackson, Jane; Pearson, Emily; University of Derby (2015-03)
      This paper discusses the correlation of Natural dyes with the 19th Century photographic processes ‘Anthotypes’. Exploring the connection between natural dyes and their fastness properties in relation to the success of this early photographic imaging process: The emerging evidence of imagery on exposure to light as the colorants change with time either physically due to fading or heat and moisture. This project plans to document through Alternative photography, Archival evidence of an English Estate’s Garden (the traces that remain), Cotesbach Hall and the Marriot Family Archive from the late 19th and early 20th Centuries through collaborative research between different disciplines: historical archive and 19th Century English horticulture with natural dye colouration and ‘Anthotypes’ an early photographic processes of that period. By exploring the natural plant extractions of Cotesbach Hall Gardens with investigations and experimentation into ‘Anthotypes’ the aim of which, is to understand the symbiotic relationship that the natural colorant (Dye) has with the success or failure of this type of photographic process, the emerging evidence of a time through the emergence of an image through time: Positive exposure over hours/days/weeks. The main objective of the research is to employ archival research and past and current photographic images within a scientific technical methodology normally applied to textile coloration as to Why and How Anthotypes work? Their correlation both colorant and positive have with sunlight, artificial daylight and ultra violet light in relation to quality and colour of images achieved on exposure, with the fastness properties natural dyes /plant extracts employed within the process. The initial literature research undertaken was into the three completely different scientific areas that were being investigated during the 19th Century: English Garden Horticulture, Textile colouration via natural dyes and the success or failure of early photographic experiments using plant juices known as ‘Anthotypes’ developed by Sir John Herschel in 1842. Synthetic dyes had not been discovered or employed within the Textile Industry until 1856 with the discovery of ‘Perkins purple’ or ‘Mauveine’ by William Henry Perkin. This was followed by a practical investigation into the relationship natural colours obtained from plants and vegetables within the gardens of Cotesbach Hall had with their fastness or fugitive properties in enabling the creation of successful positive image using the early photographic technique of the period, known as Anthotypes. The resulting imagery documenting: ‘The Emerging Evidence of a Time through the Emergence of an Image through Time’ A correlation between the early photographic imaging processes Anthotypes and Natural Dyes’.