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  • Writer's pictureJo Sutherst

Positions and Practice – Experiment 1

To evaluate how well I can intervene with my images, I have carried out some experiments with diluted bleach and ink.

Onto the surface of an image printed on 5 different papers, I used a pipette to add droplets of diluted bleach (50% water).  I allowed this to dry and then added drops of different coloured drawing ink – red, blue and green.

I allowed the work to dry naturally.


Figure 1: Sutherst 2016

The resulting images were not what I had expected.  The bleach did not affect the surface of the photo paper as much as I would have liked.  I believe this is due to the sealing lacquer on the surface of the paper.

The printer paper and both cartridge papers wrinkled during the experiment due the added moisture. For future planned Photoshop manipulations, this wrinkling is an undesired effect and is evident when the image is scanned into the computer.  The bleach reacted well with these papers and produced an interesting result when combined with the inks.

The bleach and ink took longest to dry on the art canvas which resulted in the ink running.

None of the resulting images were what I was aiming for.  I was aiming for the bleach to spread out and even eat through the paper at points.  I will be repeating the experiment using the planned developments below to see if it is possible to achieve this.

Further developments and next steps.

Development 1:

  1. I will attempt to soften the top layer of the images by soaking them briefly in water. Next I will rub the parts of the photos I am going to alter with medium grit sandpaper while they are still damp.

  2. I will trial spots, streaks or lines of bleach with a pipette or brush.

  3. After a short period of time(around a minute), I will rinse the bleach off really well. I will use some mild soap as well to make sure that all the bleach is gone.

  4. I will then add ink to the images to get the effect I am after.

Development 2:

  1. I will use undiluted bleach on a image to determine if this makes a difference to the spread of the bleach.

Development 3:

  1. I will scratch the surface of the image with a scalpel and then add bleach to the image to see if this makes a difference to the effect on the photo.

Development 4:

  1. Trial different photographic papers to see if that makes a difference to the absorption of the bleach.

I will post the results of the further experiments in a future blog.

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