ARTIST INTERVIEW – Bridget Arnold
Artist interview – Bridget has years of experience under her belt as a sun printing artist. Sun printing, also known as Cyanotype, is a form of primitive photography. With this process each piece is an original distinct one-off print. Each created in two stages. First, coating a surface of paper or fabric using two chemicals mixed together to create photo sensitivity. Then, objects are placed on top and it is placed in Sunlight for an imprint to take place. The objects placed on top act as resist creating a negative image over a suitable period of time. Fixing is done by washing the chemicals out of the paper or material.
When did you start making Art?
I have always been interested in Art and Craft from a small child. I had great opportunities being taught by local Potters and Textile artists from quite young.
Why did you become an artist?
I was brought up in Dartington. At that time, it was full of creative people, with Dartington Hall being a draw for all sorts of Artists and Crafts people. I think that it just seemed normal to become an artist. Since I was surrounded by Potters, Jewellers, Weavers, Textile Artists and Wood workers around where I lived. Even though I was pushed away from it by my Careers Tutor at 6 Form. So I didn’t do A level Art at that time. Instead I did Sociology, Biology and Maths. I still enjoyed Drawing images looking down Microscopes. But I really missed being creative.
Then, I went to do a Foundation Art Course in Torbay. After a break getting married and Having 3 Children, I took up Silk I went back to studying Art and Design when the children were all in School. Leaving with my BA Hons Degree in 1997 I set up as a self-employed Artist then making Smoke Fired Pottery and I have been a practising Artist ever since.
Where would you ultimately like to see your Art?
I would like to still be teaching workshops as I enjoy passing on my skills to others. Art is a really important way of relaxing and good for everybody’s Mental Health. My Sun Printing work engages with Nature and Art at the same time. So it ticks lots of boxes for helping make people feel good.
My Unique Sun Printed Textiles are still developing all the time. They are becoming more vibrant and stunning as I explore new techniques and colours. They are Works of Art so I would like to get more recognition for that. As well as for Bringing the Outside Inside in an imaginative way.
What are you currently working on?
Making Wet Cyanotypes in the Sunshine when I am able to. I explore which plants work well with this technique of Printing.
I would like to experiment more with Sun Printing Seaweed this Season onto Textiles. Even doing some Wetcyanotype onto Cotton to make Lampshades would be exciting to try.
Who or what is your muse?
Anna Atkins: Female Pioneer Cyanotype Photographer, who recorded Seaweeds with Cyanotype in the 1840’s .
What is your favourite piece and why?
My Favourite piece is usually the latest piece of work I have made. Because I find it is exciting to make something new and unique made from Nature and to show how Beautiful it is.
A quote: ‘People must feel that the natural world is important and valuable and beautiful and wonderful and an amazement and a pleasure.’ David Attenborough
A colour: Blue cyan.
A song: Crowded House, Take the Weather with you.
Favourite artist: David Hockney.
Favourite place: My Happy Place in the Summer South Milton Beach collecting Seaweed.
A hobby: Swimming and singing!
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Tidal Gallery opened its doors in 2018 to support the local Art community. By creating a selling platform for professional local artists. As an artist-led gallery, the ethos is passion and sustainability.