On Light Fest­iv­al

Published Categorised as Art & Design, Photography No Comments on On Light Fest­iv­al

on light sm

A few weeks ago, Univer­sity College London held a light-themed street fest­iv­al, with stalls run by the differ­ent univer­sity depart­ments with demon­stra­tions and free activ­it­ies. My friend Mel was there to win a Guin­ness World Record for the world’s largest cyan­o­type print (she’s already the hold­er of the record, which she did as part of an arts fest­iv­al in India earli­er this year, but she wanted to beat her previ­ous record).

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As you came in, there was a wall of small cyan­o­types drying from the work­shop going on.

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The world record beat­ing cyan­o­type. I wasn’t there to see all the people lying on it to create the expos­ure though. I only got there just after the fabric was hosed down to neut­ral­ise the chem­ic­als.

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A will­ing volun­teer shows how it’s done.

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Mel and the team. They were exhausted after spend­ing all night coat­ing the giant piece of fabric.

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A camera obscura tent. I didn’t get to have a go though, because there was quite a queue.

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This archae­olo­gist was demon­strat­ing stone age meth­ods of creat­ing fire. I had a go, but she had the knack with the flints and I didn’t. Of course stone age people didn’t have to do that every time they wanted a fire, people carried around a glow­ing ember in a tinder­box as much as possible. You could also make a Roman-style oil lamp out of clay at the stall.

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A bowl with tinder, dry straw and kind­ling. The tinder was amadou, a kind of tree fungus. It feels just like suede, and can also be used to make hats.

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Archae­olo­gic­al remains of fire and light equip­ment.

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There was also a demon­stra­tion of how reflect­ive road paint works.

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You have to get the paint pretty hot.

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And it’s not very easy to spread by hand without the stripe-paint­ing machine.

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