Mind’s eye is my research into Grandparents.
In the summer of 2020 I started working at “Rudolf Steiner Zorg”, A care facility for the elderly. I’ve always had a weak spot for the elderly and really enjoyed my job to the fullest.
At a certain moment I started bringing my camera to work, to capture the residents. During work I suddenly realized that I don’t have any memories of my grandparents. They all passed away when I was just a baby. I noticed I was investigating the feeling of having grandparents. That was the start of this project, these series. I was bonding with the residents and wanted to keep them near me forever. Of course, this is impossible. Thus came the idea to document these “Oldies”, as I endearingly call them. I want to capture what it’s like to be with them, to be able to hold them.
Next to scanning their possessions, I started scanning the Oldies as well, physically. As close as one can get. It now is similar to a fingerprint.
They gave me new memories and warmth, something I have never felt before. By capturing the Oldies, the memory became tangible.
The technic I’m using is called Cyanotype.
Cyanotype is one of the oldest photographic technics and produces intense blueprints. Nowadays it is classified as an important part of the alternative photography processes.
One of the best-known proponents of the cyanotype process is Anna Atkins. She made a series of books with cyanotype pictures of different kinds of plants. Because she used this process she is also known as the first female photographer.
Cyanotype process uses two different chemicals, ferric ammonium citrate and potassium ferricyanide.
When the two chemicals are mixed, it can be applied to paper with a brush. This will need to dry after which it can be exposed (uv light) with the negative of the picture. When the chemicals are washed off with water, a strong stable deep blue color remains, showing the picture. After these actions the picture only needs to be fixated.