My work expresses the basic sensations of my life in the city, drawing from the textures and rhythms of urban patterns, architectural motifs, and remnants of urban decay. Coming from a background that began in painting and weaving, I have lived and worked in Somerville, MA, for nearly 30 years.

I use vintage photo-printing techniques such as cyanotype and Van Dyke brown printing on both paper and fabric; these methods enable me to create unique prints that combine different kinds of marks, textures, and image fragments on a single surface, without a press. Some work includes use of layering with color transparencies of montaged image fragments stitched on top of a cyanotype. All photo images are my own, of places where I've lived and traveled.


The blue monoprints are cyanotypes. Cyanotype is a photographic printing process that was innovated in the mid-19th century. The sensitizer consists of potassium ferricyanide and ferric ammonium citrate. A print is made by coating a sheet of paper or fabric with the sensitizer, letting it dry, and then exposing the surface in sunlight with one or more negatives, flat found objects, drawings and textures. The print is developed in water, during which time it turns a rich blue color.

The Van Dyke brownprint process is similar to cyanotype, although the sensitizer is made up of different chemistry, which yields the sepia color prints. As with cyanotype, brown-printing methods such as Van Dyke and Kallitype were innovated around the mid-19th century.

The full-color mixed-media pieces are montaged photo fragments laser reproduced on transparencies, and stitched to a cyanotype substrate.


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© 2016 Karen Molloy. All rights reserved. Artwork cannot be used without permission.