Osheen Harruthoonyan’s A Circle of Bluebirds combines the experimental with the scientific to produce beautiful hybrid images that use photography to give form to the invisible. Inspired by the landscapes of Atina, Harruthoonyan’s evocative images are created by coalescence of astronomy, chance and fantasy.
The title, A Circle of Bluebirds, draws on the scientific principle of converting the earth’s electromagnetic spectrum into sound waves. As charged solar particles hit the radioactive belts surrounding our earth, they get trapped and whirled about. This movement of energy, converted into sound, reveals itself as the familiar soundscape of birds chirping. I interpreted this sounds as bluebirds as they represent happiness, and love. The circle of course meaning eternity, self, cyclic movement as well as the shape representing lenses (cameras, telescopes and microscopes) into other worlds.
The images in A Circle of Bluebirds take place in worlds similar to ours but where the fundamental laws of nature function very differently.
I thought as an explorer, making these “observations from another Earth” encircled by these moments would be quite beautiful.
All of the photographs were taken in and around Atina, Italy in the fall of 2015 on black and white 35mm, medium, and large format film (Ilford HP5 and Fuji Acros 100). Several of the 35mm celestial images were taken through a telescope. Using chemistry that I make in my studio, I manipulate the emulsion on my black and white negatives, at times using several negatives layered on top of one another to achieve the desired effect. I then take the completed final negatives into the darkroom and make limited edtion gelatin silver prints on fiber paper. Finally, I either split or tri-tone with sepia, gold and selenium.
A Circle of Bluebirds is an extension of Morphogenesis and Saw the Splendor, the term for the process that causes an organism to develop its shape, starts it all off. It’s a six by six foot gelatin silver installation comprised of four prints.
In Saw the Splendor, informed by my fascination with astronomy and biology, I wanted to make the works seem like one is looking through both a telescope and a microscope exploring new worlds and creating narratives around those discoveries.
To learn more about the incredible processes Harruthoonyan uses to create his beautiful images follow the links below.
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation did a short documentary last year that can viewed at the following link http://www.cbc.ca/arts/exhibitionists/meet-the-photographer-who-will-travel-to-the-ends-of-the-earth-or-outer-space-for-his-art-1.3896263