"Remember that you are a gateway between the universal and the microscopic, the inner forces that stir the depths of your innermost being, and nature, who embraces you and all there is."
— David Attenborough
Using cyanotypes, one of the earliest photographic processes (discovered in 1842), Barnaby Irish attempts to give physical presence to naturally occurring forms and patterns invisible to the naked eye, an analogue permanence to images predominantly created from data.
The cyanotype process is completely camera-less and lens-less, and the sunlight which it requires constantly varies, making each piece unique. Irish extends this by occasionally screen-printing on the glass and custom-making all of his frames, giving each piece an individual identity in a bigger ecosystem.
His prints are based around found images, many created by technology: satellite and astrophotography, scans of blood vessels, neurons and cells, and by layering and manipulating these images he encourages you to look deeper beyond the constraints of the frames, to discover new inner galaxies.
"We are aware of ourselves and the space we inhabit, but only in a limited sense. Our visual reality is created by photons bouncing off of matter at different wavelengths, giving us a sense of depth and colour.
As humans our perception and knowledge have evolved at an exponential pace, but our sensory equipment is only designed to react to stimuli at our own scale. Our sense of sight is limited to narrow wavelengths and we require sophisticated technology to see anything at a microscopic or cosmic scale," says Irish.
He continues - "I find these forms both beautiful and disturbing; they resonate as something familiar, but closer inspection makes them feel false - the depth and shade created by software instead of photons."
"My work imagines realities and dimensions we can't yet sense, or only get glimpses of through meditation or psychedelics. I’m aiming for the resonance of something you recognise with the mystery of not knowing what it is."