Anna Atkins Analysis

anna-atkins-photographs-of-british-algae-cyanotype-impressions-1843-44-f1983-12Anna Atkins, Cystoscira granulata, 1843, cyanotype

Anna Atkins was an artist who focused mainly on cyanotypes, and in this piece, known as Cystoscira granulata, there is a white silhouette of British algae on cyanotype paper. The outline itself looks pretty smooth, but the cyanotype blue looks bumpy and rough. This piece is very interesting, and makes me think of a lab, where scientists list types of plants in a big book. I feel like she was trying to get some sort of message out, maybe that we should appreciate nature, and that we shouldn’t have to put them on a piece of paper to enjoy it. I believe that this piece isn’t very successful for a few reasons. One, it’s a bit small in person, and second, it’s overlooked by many other types of art that are harder and more complex. I think it looks good, and I’m sure she put a lot of time into this piece, but it just isn’t something I would hang on my wall.

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