Ian Sanderson’s photography is iconic. For over thirty years he has been capturing images both in the UK and abroad in France and Spain (where the artist has lived for many years.)
One of the distinguishing features of Sanderson’s fine art photography is his innovative experimentation with 19th century photographic processes. After many years working in both personal and commercial photography, Ian started to realise that the digital era was causing a lack of a “hands-on” relationship with his work. After the initial photographing of his subjects and use of his artistic “eye” for capturing moments on film, everything in the later stages of the photographic process was computer-based. It was this void in his artistic practice which prompted him to begin developing his signature “Gum Bichromate” printing technique.
Gum Bichromate printing is a ‘contact’ 19th century photographic process that involves the use of Gum Arabic and sensitized watercolour pigments. Each print has up to eight layers of colour, which creates a beautiful complexity and depth in the final image.The process is time consuming, Sanderson must therefore work with meticulous precision throughout the process. Each print is unique, the image may be repeated but the treatment is always different. This renewed artistic element to Ian’s photography has given him great satisfaction in recent years: “Working with paper and watercolour, using brushes etc. is a refreshing change for me and the results are not possible by any other means. When seen ‘in the flesh’, the layers and surface textures are more apparent’.” Each large-format print is a hand-made piece of art that requires many hours of elaborate care and is, of course, “one-of-a-kind”.
In recent months, Ian has been working with another 19th century technique known as Platinum Palladium printing. These two precious metals combined with pure gold and silver create jewel-like images which are completely archival. They are printed on transparent vellum which allows the silver or gold to become the base colour hence the jewel-like appearance
Ian has been photographing since the Seventies, so his subjects vary greatly- beautiful women luxuriating sensually in the sun, scenes of Paris, still lives of unusual plant matter or haunting silhouettes of graceful trees. An athletic man leaps through the air, silhouetted mid-dive against the sky beyond… a glamorous, sinuous woman peers out from behind a decorative iron railing… Ian’s photographs make such a strong statement that they have regularly been used by art publishers and magazines.
Ian has exhibited his work internationally and has had solo exhibitions at prestigious galleries such as Artcube Paris, Galerie Alex Telese Barcelona and Oriel Gallery in London.
At present he is working closely with the Tiffany’s & Co designer Elsa Peretti on a book project involving all aspects of her life and work. The next solo show will be in Lo Spacio galley in Barcelona and will feature his ‘alternative photography’.