Dreams of the Darkroom – Inspired by Blossfeldt

Holidays and an influx of work have drawn me away from many things recently, including this little blog. The full workload has made me release how much I need to take a break and dedicate some time to the creative things I love to do and the relaxing things that keep me calm (and don’t involve a computer screen!).

I used to spend hours printing and experimenting with different techniques in the darkroom. There’s something wondrous about creating new things with your own hands, seeing images come to life and bringing those moments into light.  Right now finding the time to do it just doesn’t seem possible – but I long for another stint in the dark to create my latest ideas.

Analogue photography and fine art printing can bring emotive new elements to an image. As my work has always moved in and out of installation, teased at sculptural art and often incorporated textiles, traditional film photography and hand printing always allowed me to capture the beauty, harshness and texture I wanted to represent that just wasn’t possible otherwise.

Sunflower-Leaves-Nicola-Dellard-Lyle-flower-photography

Along with John Blakemore, Robert Mapplethorpe and Sally Mann, Karl Blossfeldt has been a great influence and source of inspiration for me as a fine art photographer. Seeing some of Blossfeldt’s original photographs in an exhibition at Bristol Museum has only intensified my yearning for another visit to the darkroom.

However, until time permits I’ll be outsourcing my film processing and playing around with my digital camera.

  

Inspired by Blossfeldt’s work at Bristol Museum and another summer of glorious wildflowers, we’ve collected bouquets from our garden and the house has been full of colour. We’ve spotted beautiful flowers in hedgerows on our adventures around Bristol too, especially in the countryside spots hidden within the city.

A recent collection from our garden (and a gift of flowers from a friend) inspired me to grab my camera and capture some of their beauty up close – à la Karl.

Leaf-Nicola-Dellard-Lyle-Photography

The Karl Blossfeldt exhibition at Bristol Museum is open until 13th September and is well worth a visit if you love photography, flowers and the simplified beauty of nature. You can read an article I’ve written about the exhibition and Blossfeldt’s fine art printing on the Bristol Museums website.

Sunflower-Stem-Nicola-Dellard-Lyle-Photography

Small Signs of Spring

small signs of spring

Spring won’t ‘officially’ leap into action until the end of March but already I’m finding small signs that let us know the beautiful season is beginning to bloom.

That fresh, unmistakable scent is in the morning air. The evening light is low but distinctive and the sun rays are highlighted by an energetic hue. Most trees are bare but here are there, dotted across branches, are small specks of pastel blossoms. Daffodil shoots and splashes of colour are appearing in parks and front gardens, breaking through muddy patches and the last of the fallen leaves.

purple flowers in spring

blossoms in spring

Although the chill here in Bristol has been on and off, the signs are all here for the start of Spring’s glorious months. Even when the morning mist still sits above the grass, the aroma of Spring is holding its own. For me, it changed in a morning- waking up earlier than usual with a brighter glow shining through our bedroom’s thin curtains. Instantly, my eyes felt brighter and a sprightly feeling took over my morning walk. Maybe it’s the anticipation of the longer days to come, which will be filled with adventure- I have so many outings planned that my heart has begun to yearn for the warmth that will accommodate them!

Now, all that’s left to do is prepare the house for sunshine, fill the calendar with springtime adventures and wait for the daffodils to show their faces.

Closed daffodils