Beautiful Carnival

(Gum Bichromate prints)



Beautiful Carnival captures the beauty and strangeness of shows and carnivals, the uniqueness of peripheral cultures that revolve around these events and their artifacts, as they virtually remain unchanged through time. Each object is visually anchored through repeated societal engagement in these events from early childhood through to adulthood- embedding these artifacts in collective, social memory. Deeper symbology and archetypes emerge from these objects and can be further explored as perception distorts or shifts through the transitions of personal, lifetime experience. The common and known are recognized on a less superficial level and reveal a change in perception of these objects as collective memory supports a shift in personal reality- creating a bridge between what Jung entitled the Personal and the Collective unconscious.


Gum Bichromate printing is a 19th-century photographic printing process done by layering watercolour pigments that are prepared in a light sensitive emulsion and then applied in multiple layers using single colour split negatives. Gum prints are capable of rendering painterly images from photographic negatives. The process is labour intensive and every individual image created is unique. 

¬© 2019 by Vanessa Harper-Mathews

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