Three Things; Works in Progress – Victorian Folly, a gift from the sea

A gift from the sea by Laura Heath

Today’s work in progress comes from Laura and is entitled ‘A gift from the Sea’. Laura originally took this particular image with her pinhole camera as part of a project on photography through the years. She was inspired by Victorian photographers, in particular William Henry Wheeler and his whimsical take on the combination print technique.

Photomontage of mermaid in sepia tone by pinhole camera

This is Laura and Kris’ middle child as a combination print mermaid. Photographed outside Shore Cottage Studio with a pinhole camera. Two shots, one of the model and one of a mackerel were taken and spliced together.

Laura Heath's mounted frames, mermaid portrait and West Kirby at night

This is a digitally photographed version of the same print on show in the studio along with the pinhole companion. A recent visitor asked if the pinhole version was ‘The Original’ and the digital version was Laura’s modern copy. Laura was very pleased that her pinhole version had ‘fooled’ someone into thinking it was genuine and this sparked an idea.

Adding clay to the photograph

Having researched a little more into Victorian Shell Art and images of seascapes in particular Laura decided on creating a multimedia piece of Victorian inspired folly. Here is the image mounted on board and beginning to be covered with a surround of air dry clay.

A gift from the sea by Laura Heath

Laura went on a walk with the children to collect some seashells and once they were washed and dried they were pushed softly into the air dry clay to make a surround. Thus ‘A Gift from the Sea’ is born. It certainly won’t be to all tastes but we hope that William Henry Wheeler might have approved!