‘The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance’

-Aristotle

Jessica Hodgson is a cyanotype artist and Australian ecologist living in NSW southern tablelands

Hi, I am Jess, a self-confessed bird nerd, plant geek, and lover of nature. I am a Conservation Ecologist by training and I have spent ten-plus years studying the intricate and delicate relationships and adaptations between native Australian wildlife and flora.

I am fortunate enough to be the custodian of a nature-rich 20-acre parcel of land located near the beautiful Tarago in NSW. This is my
happy place and allows me the creative space to pursue my love of cyanotype printing.

Cyanotype is an antique photographic printing process, in fact it is considered the original photography technique, but there is no camera involved. Instead, a chemical reaction is triggered by sunlight. As a result, everywhere light can reach will turn blue thus leaving exquisitely detailed white shadows on the page. 

 

I am asked so often how one stumbles across something as unusual and uncommon as cyanotype. I mean it’s not your run-of-the-mill art form, is it? Whilst the cyanotype process is said to have been invented by Sir John Herschel in 1842, it was my admiration of the work of botanist Anna Atkins that connected me to this blueprint style of photography.

A botanist and trailblazer, it is thought that Anna was the first woman to take photographs. She published her first book to catalogue her specimens in 1843 and used the cyanotype photographic process, showcasing a beautiful collection of blueprint photography creating a mix of art and science.

Spoonie and Jess

I have been able to use my background in conservation,
my love of nature, and my fascination for the cyanotype process to create pieces that are truly unique. No two pieces are the same and depending on the time of day, month, year, and exposure, each piece is as individual as the specimen being captured.

I am fascinated by the relationships of nature, and spent several years studying the Bowerbirds specifically for a PhD. Blue Bower Art is the culmination of my two loves uniting and allows me to use my scientific background combined with my creative expression to create something really magical

So if you are looking for me, you will find me in my happy place, collecting specimens, enjoying my surroundings, and creating lasting impressions using an age-old process that creates timeless pieces that I love and hope you will too.

Love Dr. Jess, bird nerd, plant geek, and artist xx

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