This week I printed a series of photopolymers and monotypes onto a light weight Kozo paper. The plan was to layer up similar and the same images, but shifted, looking for the liminal portrait. A portrait that both ‘is’ and ‘isn’t’. And a process that I’ll use for this commission when I work with participant-protesters. Or should that be co-producers? (a question that nips me as I think/work is this difference between participant and co-producer).

Here’s some of the test results. I’ll use this blog post as the place to record my findings. It won’t be compelling reading, but a document to help me make decisions. The photos come in pairs to show both sides of the piece. They are essentially maquettes. That’s a toothpick, and I’m holding them up to the light against the window. The plan is to make placard-size portraits.

#1. Photopolymer made from two poses (from a doubled-up acetate print out.)

#2. Photopolymer made from four poses (from a acetate print out.)

#3. Photopolymer print and a monotype print. Same pose.

#4. Four monotype prints. Same pose.

I like #1 and #2. Both photographic. Both a sequence of poses. #2 is harder to photograph – its more subtle, more ‘liminal’.

On a bigger scale I think I would need to screenprint the photographic images rather than photopolymer (it gets too expensive at that scale) and screenprint would also allow me to use different colour. However I’m a fan of the misty-atmosphere of the photopolymer (that comes from the intaglio inking process), and I’m generally not keen on the screenprint aesthetic (a bit flat for me and not so satisfying to print). So we’ll see. Probably the next step is to trial it on the larger scale.


For my Urgency Commission with the University of Exeter (UoE), I will be working with people who have been or are protesters. I am hoping some of them will be UoE staff and students. To reach people often takes a little while. In the meantime I have started to test the processes I may use to create the liminal portraits.

The intention is to involve the protester-participants in the making of their own liminal portrait, and in the process to explore and discuss AFR technologies and their potential impact on the right to protest.

In this way I need to find a process of making that can genuinely involve them, yet is steered by my plan for the final outcome. (I do not therefore call what I am doing ‘participatory art’ – I’m sure I’ll write on this later, or in a different blog, the difference between co-produced and participatory art)

Yesterday I made a whole load of monotype portraits, using a helpful volunteer as a test-subject. I will play with these in several ways, including as chine collé onto embossed prints.

The aim is to create a portrait that explores the liminality of our identity. I want to make a portrait that is both recognisable by the human eye and unrecognisable by AFR technologies.