|Preece, The Popular War, chemigram hybrid, 2003|
The first time I heard the word hybrid in relation to my work was about 3 years ago. A colleague who liked my work told me that the way I was experimenting, some of my work were hybrids. I'm a photographer and a printmaker so combining these two pretty much is automatic. I suppose my definition of a hybrid would go something like this: the combining of two or more media including digital imaging and transformation, to create a final work of art. To be sure, there are gray areas, for example I'm not so sure that combining a printed negative and some chemical coloration on the same sheet of paper qualifies as a hybrid but rather just as a chemigram. However, if it is then reproduced digitally, I would be inclined to call it a hybrid.
|Preece, A Clean Slate, chemigram hybrid, 2011|
|Preece, In The Woods, chemigram hybrid, 2003|
I like combining digital photo imagery with scanned chemigrams or mixing it with printmaking such as etching or engraving. I've found the Epson Radiant White Watercolor Paper to be an excellent printmaking paper for etchings and engravings. Imagery made with the Epson Ultrachrome K3 inkset does not bleed when soaked in water, enabling the artist to make digital prints and then overlay the image with etching ink. This is one form of hybrid. For years I would go through the trashcan in my darkroom and pull out the 'chemigrams by accident'. I use this serendipity as an environment from which to start a hybrid, scanning it in and then adding digital photo imagery using Photoshop. Just a word of advice though, if you decide to work this way - don't settle on the first combination that comes to mind. Try thinking in terms of fifty different combinatios and then picking the one that works best.