Chloe Obermeyer’s Cyanotypes

WORDS Mary Garner

Chloe Obermeyer, a graduate of the Michaelis School of Fine Art, creates once-off artworks inspired by the ocean and nature, using a 174-year-old photographic printing process known as cyanotype.

Making a cyanotype involves placing a negative image (which could be an item or photographic negative) on treated paper or fabric. After a light sensitive solution is brushed on, the paper is placed under ultraviolet light, or in direct sun, to develop.

“Basically, two light sensitive solutions are mixed together in a 1:1 ratio to form a work chemistry,” explains Chloe. “This is then painted onto a surface such as paper or fabric and then left to dry in a place that contains no UV light. Once the surface is dry, I arrange the chosen items above it in a composition that is to my liking. If I am working with a printed photographic negative, I will make use of a glass pane to add pressure so that I can get accurate prints.”

The cyanotype is created in a UV-safe environment and once the first part of the process is completed, Chloe moves everything outside. The print is placed in a sunny area in order to be exposed to the sun’s UV radiation. After this exposure it is developed in water, followed by a hydrogen peroxide bath, which facilitates the rich blue hue.

Chloe will form part of an upcoming exhibition at The Gallery in Riebeek-Kasteel that opens on 11 August 2017 and runs until the end of September.

For more information about purchasing Chloe’s work, please contact Astrid Obermeyer, curator and owner of The Gallery, on 083 652 3697. To view more of Chloe’s work, visit