My name is Laura Minor. I am an artist and art educator living in Hamburg, NY. I studied photography at the Fashion institute of Technology and The Visual Studies Workshop. For the past 8 years I have taught elementary art for Buffalo Public Schools.
In my piece Sol, I combine digital and analog photography techniques. I create negatives in photoshop combining multiple archive and stock images. I then print the resulting image on transparency film. In a darkened room, I coat a piece of paper with the cyanotype solution, an equal mixture of Potassium ferricyanide and Ferric ammonium citrate. After it dries, I use my negative to make a contact print in the bright sun. The print is then washed allowing the white areas to clear and the signature blue color begins to reveal itself. As the print dries the blue color deepens to a Prussian blue.
My current series is Celestial Bodies, of which Sol is a part. The series is a departure in subject and technique. Previously I created from behind the camera. My work focused on land use in Western New York. This meant hours in the car driving to different sites. Then a little over 3 years ago I became a mom. My universe felt smaller and tethered to home. I began to explore an old idea from my sketchbook and the ease of the cyanotype process was a befitting method to explore the subject matter. In this series I source archival images from the turn of the 20th century. These women had far few choices in their daily lives. They were daughters, then wives, then mothers.
The photos always have a very formal feel to them as it was a special occasion to be photographed then. They almost never look happy. Their path was predetermined in life, but still they persisted mostly in the shadow of others. I am drawn to the figures’ demure, reserved poses. I think of these women quietly in the background, orbiting the action. A seemly invisible force influencing those in their sphere. I chose to obscure their faces with planets and moons of our solar system. Although we have images of these places much of their existence is enigmatic.