Lumen Essence is an exhibition of lumen prints made by a group of artists working in ReConnect, Project Ability’s mental health programme. Lumen printing is a camera-less method of making photographic images and was first used by botanists in the early 1800s. Objects are placed on photographic paper which is then exposed to sunlight. This can take several hours or even several days depending on the weather so in Scotland it can be a fairly lengthy process!
The project came about when ReConnect tutor Celine Mcilmunn rediscovered a roll of out of date photographic paper that had be gathering dust on in the back of a cupboard for almost two decades. She wondered if it could be put to good use and a web search led to the discovery of lumen printing and a series of workshops with the other artists in the group.
Each of the artists has taken a different approach to making their images with subject matter ranging from objects found by chance to deeply personal childhood memories to the pure materiality of the effects of light and time on the exposed paper.
The resulting images are wonderfully subtle with the normally black and white darkroom paper revealing a sometimes surprising variety of colours.
Rainoir Clark, Lea Cummings, Jonny Kirkwood, Esme Macleod, Simon McAuley & Celine Mcilmunn
Lumen Essence is part of the Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival
Thanks to John Farrell and Donna Maria Kelly at Street Level Photoworks.