Reading Water: making the book

cyano sm

18 January 2021

After a few experiments with cyanotype and different kinds of paper, I discovered that the nicest colour came from a cheap roll of lining paper I had in my loft. In deepest winter, I struggled with finding enough high sunlight to expose the paper, but had fun laying out all my finds and quotes on the scroll.

Timing was arbitrary and unscientific, and many of the objects were invisible in the final prints – hidden again by time and tides.

The covers are tracings of a map of the Exe from Exeter to Topsham, flooded with oak gall ink.

As the river water is part of a great cycle of nature, the book has been made using re-purposed paper (lining paper, wrapping paper, paper salvaged from an office fire), home-made glue (wheat flour, water), home-made oak gall ink (including oak galls, rust, wine found in an Exe Valley nature reserve, wine vinegar and river water), ascorbic acid (lemon juice), mud from the Exe, natural chalk and cyanotype using river water.


'Reading Water', mixed media, Naomi Hart 2021

‘Reading Water’, mixed media, Naomi Hart 2021

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