TABOO - TRANSGRESSION - TRANSCENDENCE
in Art & Science
27-29 September 2023, Malta Society of Arts, Valletta
Creating cyanotype photographs has always been fascinating to me as a visual artist. Whether working with photograms or printing with negatives, the process of using solar exposure to create blue photographic prints feels magical. A recent move from the US to Portugal prompted me to explore the concept of mapping.
Collected blueprints from Parque Natural da Serra de São Mamede, found in the archives of Quinta dos Olhos d'Água, provide a foundation for an artistic project using the cyanotype printing process. Historically, cyanotypes were a technique for duplication of architectural prints and mathematical formulas. This series of topographical blueprints still delineate properties and roads that were a part of the Roman city of Ammaia.
“Mapping” provides a visual investigation of physical and emotional spaces—mapping the past through found objects, the natural world via animal paths and charting an idea of “home.” Different geographical spaces, from east to west, are brought together in this project. Large scale blueprints are manipulated with layers to create a new mapping of physical place. Following javali trails to unearth skulls and bone shards is a process that documents a physical space from a new perspective. Collected physical objects, imprints of animal tracks and javali skeletons, invite curiosity and allow viewers the opportunity to look deeper into their own surroundings.
Humans often follow visible paths created by water, animals and those of previous generations. Paths are created by the collective. Maps offer boundaries defining physical space. The concept of “home” is often linked to a location. How do we use different maps to find and then define our place in the world?
Anna Isaak-Ross holds a BFA from the College of Visual and Performing Arts at Syracuse University. After working with various artists across the U.S., she became Studio Manager of the Art & Design Department at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell. While there, Anna managed the traditional art studios and fabrication lab activities. She has extensive experience with curatorial work, bringing major exhibitions to University Crossing Gallery as well as galleries in Portugal and Spain. At present, Anna is the Studio Manager & Coordinator at Cultivamos Cultura in São Luís, Portugal. Her main duties include archiving the organization’s art collection as well as managing the residency program. Her expertise is managing lab equipment, art studios, facilities and galleries. She excels at curatorial practices used to present and preserve many types of artwork. Anna’s primary artistic mediums are photography and new media. Her photos and films have been exhibited internationally.