(Hand-crafted four colour carbon and mono prints)
Bella Venezia is a reflection on the idealised beauty of an ancient city that has survived a colourful and turbulent history into the present day. Iconic and romanticised objects of Venice, like the centuries old tradition of Venetian masks are featured. They conjure up images of the beautifully lit canals with gondoliers and marbled arched bridges, representing the mystery of old Venice. It is also a reflection on the ongoing decay of time and the modern day wear and tear, represented through the street graffiti covering many of the old and beautifully intricate buildings, the result of a tourism industry that sees over 20 million visitors a year.
Each unique four colour carbon transfer hand crafted photograph portrays a city trapped in both the past and the present. Like an old majestic queen with her tarnished crown, she is still standing with the pride of memories of what she once was.
The original (mono-tone) carbon process is part of a rich history of the development of photography, and has its foundations in a range of experimentation and discovery over long periods of time. Carbon was experimented with and refined during the 184o’s to 1860’s. The four colour carbon printing process uses multiple colour pigments to produce one of the most permanent colour photographic prints. The use of pigment allows any colour photograph to be printed on a range of surfaces. The beautiful tonal scale with it’s refined subtle highlights, depth and richness in the shadow details returns a unique aesthetic beauty and great longevity. Despite the elegance and refinement of the prints. it is one of the least practiced alternative historical processes due to it’s complexity and is known for being technically challenging, labour intensive, and time consuming. The bas-relief effect is a unique signature of the carbon process and not achievable in in other photographic processes. It is thought there are only 25-30 practitioners of four colour carbon in the world due to the complexity of the process