with Sarah Garrod

Text by Community Critic Janice Aribisala

Photos by Three Rivers

Eco Photography Workshops with artist Sarah Garrod

"Sarah Garrod’s cyanotype ‘eco-photography’ workshop that took place this July at the Belvedere Community Centre was inspiring. It is described as an ‘eco-photography’ workshop as we didn’t need to use any artificial method to create this process; it was all natural by using environmental elements, sunshine and water. The workshop took us through the process of producing cyanotypes, which are photographic prints made by exposing pre-sensitised paper to UV light. Full sunlight is optimal and the day was perfect for it, and even though it did get cloudy towards the end of the session, we were still able to produce rich blue cyanotype pieces. Whilst we were being guided through each step of the process, Sarah gave us a backstory into her life in photography, sharing work on her Instagram page @sarahg.photog. She introduced different ways of creating cyanotypes on things other than paper, for example using clothing, postcards and even purses.

Sarah also gave us an insight into how she was able to sell her cyanotype pieces as prints in places within Deptford, where she has previously exhibited some of her larger pieces at London’s longest-running visual arts festival Deptford X. Garrod’s practice made me reminisce about my time doing A-Level Photography, where I had to produce cyanotypes for coursework. I found her workshop much more inspiring than the teaching back in school because she shared more creative ways to make the most of this technique to produce artworks she lovingly describes as ‘sunprints.’