PhD – Central Saint Martins, 2020
Eleanor is an artist, architect, and educator. She teaches architecture at Kingston School of Art and is currently undertaking an AHRC funded PhD at Central Saint Martins. Eleanor’s practice and writing has been exhibited and published internationally.
As a transdisciplinary practitioner situated between art and architecture, Eleanor explores temporality and ephemerality through several strands of practice – artists’ digital films and cyanotype blueprints. Her work with cyanotype printing explores a specific strategy for creating forms of architectural representation, using sunlight as the primary active agent in the work.
Eleanor links her time-based work with cyanotype printing to explore the conventions of architectural ‘axonometric’ drawing projection, by recording the shadows of clear acrylic solid blocks and hollow cubes. In this collection, Eleanor has used twelve configurations of the same set of four acrylic blocks to produce a series of original cyanotype prints. The prints record the shadows and refracted and reflected light of each unique arrangement of the blocks. The parallel rays of sunlight, that activates the cyanotype paper, construct a sequence of images that follow the convention of non-perspectival oblique projection – a true plan is formed from the contact of the blocks on the paper, and the parallel sun rays trace the oblique side elevations. The resulting ‘blueprints’ suggest an architectural or urban form, however, the abstract instrumentality of the axonometric drawing type is undermined through the materiality of the process. The shadows’ penumbras increase as they pull away from the picture, blurring what were once sharp edges. As light travels through the solid, yet transparent, material it reveals imperfections in the acrylic as they become imprinted in the fine detail of the cyanotype.
"As one of the earliest forms of photographic printing, the simplicity and fundamental material nature of the process is embedded in the cyanotype artefact. The quality of presence and absence when making photograms of objects’ shadows provides an uncanny, haunting quality to the resultant images. Each shadow print is unique and embodies not only the object, now absent, but the constantly changing conditions of sunlight as received at a particular time and place. The use of this medium for architectural reprographic blueprints lends the opportunity for an architectural reading.”