2: Landscape as Journey Inspiration

Liz Nicol

In the Rubber Band Project (1997), Liz Nicol collaborated with her young son to make a body of work around the streets close to their home. Nicol’s son noticed and started collecting the rubber bands discarded by postmen on their deliveries. The pair began to set aside the bands collected on each day of the school run over a period of a year. Nicol then recorded the bands using the cyanotype process. This is one of the earliest and simplest photographic printing techniques and is particularly associated with the botanical contact prints of Anna Atkins (1799–1871). [Atkins’s prints were compiled in Photographs of British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions (1843), considered to be the first book to be illustrated with photographs.] As Nicol describes:“The ‘cyanotypes’, are like architectural drawings and blank blue monitor screens. They are part of a map. The prints are a tracing not just literallyof the rubber band, but an imprint of an event, like islands in the sea…The cyanotypes… are a tracing of the rubber bands that we found and a mapping of the walk.”

See a video of Nicol demonstrating the cyanotype process:

Source Jesse Alexander 2013 pp 67-68