Close of Play: Plant Based Developer and Phytogram Workshop
GSA Exhibitions

Event Type:

Close of Play: Climate Emergency and Creative Action




11 Dec 2021
10:00 - 16:00



Fix Photography Collective, 2021
In process Phytogram exposing onto a photographic emulsion

Close of Play: Plant Based Developer and Phytogram Workshop

Event info

Close of Play: Plant Based Developer and Phytogram Workshop

11 December 2021

10am - 4pm

This is a free one-day workshop hosted by FIX Photography Collective and The Glasgow School of Art. The workshop offers an introduction to plant based developers and sustainable photographic practices.

The Phytogram utilises the chemistry of plants for the creation of images on photographic emulsion. This is an environmentally friendly analogue process that requires no camera or darkroom facilities and can be done safely from home. 

The workshop is aimed for those wanting to gain a deeper understanding of sustainable photographic processes whilst engaging with a light sensitive method that both considers and utilises the natural environment. Drawing on the landscape and the environment of our local areas, the workshop will require participants to engage with foraging in a conscious and ethical way.

The workshop is led by artist and educator Vanessa Cowling who is based in Cape Town. Vanessa Cowling will give a brief introduction to her own experiments with the Phytogram process and provide a step by step guide to making a Phytogram at home. No photographic experience is needed to participate in this workshop. 

The event is part of GSA’s Close of Play series, a yearlong programme of online events responding to COP26. FIX will host one month of activities.  Further information on each event can be found at Fixphotographycollective.com

Materials Needed for Workshop: 

-     Photographic paper or film (35mm, 4x5 or 120mm)

-     Soda Crystals (ie washing soda or sodium carbonate -  this can be bought online or at most local supermarkets) 

-     Vitamin C (powder or tablets from local pharmacy) 

-     Standard Fix or strong salt water solution

-     Two trays

-     A measuring jug, spoon and tongs

-     A handful of plants and plant leaves (foraged from local parks, gardens and landscapes of your choice) 

-     Running water

-    Gloves

FIX Photography Collective is an artist-run collective founded by Christina McBride and Jess Holdengarde in Glasgow. The collective aims to bring together a community of lens-based practitioners who share a commitment to analogue processes, a concern for the natural environment and a commitment to expand innovative and more sustainable processes and materials within photography.

Vanessa Cowling is a lecturer and artist, currently living and working in Cape Town, South Africa. She graduated from the Michaelis School of Fine Art (UCT) with a BA Honours in 1998 after which she spent a number of years as a practicing photographic artist in New York, London and Edinburgh before returning home. Vanessa lectures in the Photography department at UCT and is currently completing her MFA. Her recent research has a strong emphasis on sustainable photographic practices and the environment, questioning the role of photography in a changing landscape. Penguin House South Africa published her first book of travel photographs, West Coast Cederberg to Sea in 2006. Her recent solo exhibitions include Strings and Flight and Shoreline. 

This event is part of GSA’s series ‘Close of Play: Climate Emergency and Creative Action’. The Glasgow School of Art’s yearlong series explores the ways in which creative actions and multi-disciplinary practice can address climate emergency, sustainability, and climate justice. FIX Collective’s exhibition ‘In Process’ runs as part of ‘Art of the Possible’ at Glasgow Art Club until 4 Dec 2021.