It sounds like the name of a band, but Fotofonty has nothing to do with the music business and the blueprints are of the cyanotype variety.
Image above: Elizabeth Doak
Last month I worked with photographer Elizabeth Doak and graphic designer Maja Jones (aka Fotofonty) to plan and deliver two half day workshops. We worked together, revisiting the cyanotype process with expert help from Elizabeth, and testing out ideas about themes from the project to be developed in the workshop. I particularly enjoyed making these images of deconstructed tech objects, and later loved Maja’s ideas about introducing text to the work in the form of a “word mash-up” to invent “future words”.
The “Bring a Grandparent” workshops were aimed at children aged 7+ with a grandparent or older relative/companion. The aim was to encouraging cross-generational conversation about change, with a particular focus on changing technology and the merging of man-made and natural. These, along with the Experimental Clay Workshops in February, formed part of the process of r & d for the Once In A Universe project, encouraging conversation and debate and providing research which might later feed in to my own work. As well as this though, these collaborations with other artists who were commissioned to run the workshops have opened up possibilities for new ways of working and thinking.
There is no doubt that the children and grandparents really enjoyed the magical cyanotype process, but the Fotofonty artists brought extra layers of interest to the day with information about the history of cyanotype; a challenge to the children to invent “future words” to include in their cyanotype images, and an additional activity which enriched the experience, scanning the linked hands of children and grandparents which were then projected on to the wall and sent to participants for them to keep and print.
Photographs below courtesy of Elizabeth Doak
For me, the process of planning a brief talk to introduce the project to the children forced some serious thinking in order to simplify and condense my ideas into a form that I could present concisely and coherently – a useful process indeed! And apart from all that, thanks to Fotofonty, we made some fantastic cyanotypes and everyone went home feeling pleased and satisfied with their great work!
NOTE TO SELF:
Buy tiny screwdrivers
Deconstruct more tech objects (but not ones I might need again)
Coming next… when will I ever make something big again?!?