A Postcard from Leith – How to Create Anthotypes with Hannah Ayre

Postcards from the Plot is our current project and encapsulates a series of films and activities that explore allotments and creativity, helping us to make connections at a time of social distancing. Last week, we shared our first film with artist Hannah Ayre and we are so thrilled to be sharing more about it in today’s blog post.

Hannah’s bicycle vase, as she arrives at her allotment

In the film, we join Hannah on her journey from her studio cycling to to her allotment in Leith, Edinburgh. On her arrival at the allotment Hannah gathers natural materials ready to carry out a very exciting creative process – the alternative photography technique of anthotypes. This is a particular type of alternative photography where a sunprint is made using plant materials. Hannah explains that she started exploring this type of photography as a more sustainable option to cyanotype photography, which uses quite a lot of chemicals.
Sat on her plot, Hannah talks us stage by stage through the process of creating an anthotype and we can’t wait to give it a go at Boundary Way. She explains how to make natural emulsion to paint your paper with and then how to produce the photogram – which is a way of taking a photograph by laying an object onto a surface – that will become your anthotype! It is a rewarding process that requires patience, getting messy and having fun!

Hannah creating an emulsion from brambles

Want to give it a go? Watch Hannah’s video here, and if that’s not enough for you she is also going to be running a wonderful online Zoom workshop sharing more about the process on Tuesday 29th September 2020, you can find more information here and book your place!

Framing the anthotype to expose it to the sun

We will be releasing a resource sheet as part of Postcards from the Plot with more instructions on how to create your own Anthotype, so watch this space.
With many thanks to Hannah Ayre for creating this enchanting film and to filmmaker Rachel Gillies for helping with the sound and final edit. Photographs courtesy of Hannah Ayre.
Our #postcardsfromtheplot project has been made possible thanks to funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and National Lottery Players helping us to reimagine our programme and make connections during a new time of social distancing.

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