The art of cameraless photography dates back to the very discovery of photography and cyanotypes, in particular, have an illustrious history, discovered by the English polymath, mathematician, astronomer, chemist, inventor, and experimental photographer, Sir John Hershel. The first and most famous proponent of the form, Anna Atkins, published the first photography book of photograms made using the cyanotype process. Angela Chalmers, our featured photographer this issue, takes this historical process and extends it through contemporary digital photography and a ‘digital negatives’ to develop the process further. Seeing photographers combine such historical techniques with cutting-edge practices makes me think that we are unlikely to lose old photographic processes completely. The same is true of the new generation of photographers who are using film but scanning the results and using inkjet printers to create the final work. In many ways. Photography is like any practice, old techniques are borrowed and transformed by new generations of proponents to create novel work. I hope this means that there will be a small but significant number of photographers keeping most processes alive for future generations to discover and develop for themselves.
Interview by Michéla Griffith