Inspired by the intricate hatching techniques of M. C. Escher’s woodcuts I saw at the 2019 Exhibition Escher X nendo at the National Gallery of Victoria, Escher X processing is experimenting with processes across digital and analogue techniques and the traces produced by the iterative transfer from one medium to the other.
The process starts by recognising the underlying geometric rules of Escher’s woodcuts. These rules are then transferred into an algorithmic procedure. A black and white image serves as a base to generate one of two digital hatchings:
Ray hatch defines a centre point from which rays are emitted in every direction and cut by the shades of the underlying image.
Grid hatch uses subdivisions of a square grid where densely subdivided areas substitute the bright parts of the image.
With a brush, paper is coated with a cyanotype solution, leaving its surface sensitive to ultraviolet light. The digital output printed as a negative on transparent foil is placed on top of the coated paper. Exposed to sun light, the uncovered parts react and form ferric ferrocyanide, a blue pigment, also known as Prussian blue.