Axonometric Portrait 1

I have decided to rotate the orientation of the blocks and screen/paper. In the previous arrangements the blocks are at right angles to the screen/paper, and I have been making prints with the shadows at 45°. This effectively produces a “sciagraphic” image, where an orthographic plan or elevation includes the shadows of the objects, demonstrating their third dimension. I am interested in producing imagery which is more readily interpreted as “axonometric”, which most typically rotates the plan by 45° or 30°/60° and then extrudes up the object’s height, parallel to the paper. Axonometric drawing can either be constructed as aerial viewpoints, or “worm’s eye”, that is, from below the ground/picture plane surface. It is difficult to know which way up to read these acrylic block shadow drawings – the sharper the shadows the more it confirm to the from above view, but when they become blurred (due to cloud cover or long exposure and the shadows moving) they tend to read as worm’s eye.

This arrangement starts with the placement of a single 100mm cube at 45º to the screen. A second cube is added, and then pulled away by approximately 50mm – a 50mm cube is then used to more precisely set this spacing and is left in place. I particularly enjoyed the performative nature of this initial action when reviewing it on the back-projection footage. In the takedown clip below a similar (but reversed) action occurs as the last two cubes are removed – the penultimate cube is pushed back to meet the last cube before being removed.

In the first attempt to make a cyanotype print from this arrangement clouds were beginning to form in the sky. I almost didn’t attempt this exposure, but decided to risk it, extending the exposure time, with repeated rotation of the print to keep the shadows in the same place during the exposure. I particularly enjoy the ghostly effect of the final print. For the second print the sun was much stronger, providing nice sharp shadows.


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