Joanna Byrne is a Yorkshire-based artist-filmmaker working with tactile, sustainable and collaborative approaches to film and moving image. She works with analogue film in a hands-on way: using camera-less animation techniques, including adapting the eco-photography methods of cyanotype and phytography for 16mm moving image. She home-processes film and edits by hand, also incorporating found footage, hand-manipulation and physical traces of her body into her work. Byrne is interested in the therapeutic and transformational potential of experimental film practices.
This artist’s camera-less animation on 16mm film was inspired by the Blue Supermoon at Saltburn-by-the-Sea on 30 August 2023. Working in collaboration with foraged local grasses and wild plants, I contact printed the organic material directly onto the surface of onto 16mm filmstrips coated with hand-made cyanotype chemistry. After being exposed in Northern sunlight, the filmstrips were developed through washing in water, dried and spliced together to create a 3 minute film. The camera-less processes produce painterly moving images which move in a fluid way between figuration and abstraction. Experimenting with a circular frame mask in the projector led me to contemplate the celestial body of the Moon and her immense power over the Earth’s oceans – the illusion of stillness in constant motion.