Making Microfilms for Digital Jewellery
For my doctoral research, I created tiny microfilms from the pictures I received from my participants about things that are important to them. The microfilms were created in collaboration with the Archives and Collections Department at the Woodhorn Museum in Newcastle. The process of creating microfilms from personal images was something that the staff in this department have not yet explored, however it was an area that they wanted to experiment with the purpose of this research.
As this process was new to them, they experimented with different parameters. They explored the distance between the lens and the image, different light conditions and formats.
From a craft perspective, it was interesting for me to explore the materiality of the film and its interactive qualities and how these attributes could inform my practice. In an overexposed photo, for example, the images were turned into black silhouettes, which was a good asset for masking or simplifying details of personal information, such as specific features of a person in an image. Rather, it allowed me to create a stylised image that would still be recognisable to specific viewers, but more abstract and representative of a human (rather than a specific person) to other viewers. I also discovered that the positive and negative images on microfilm could be viewed as layers of the same image allowing someone to blend certain parts of the pictures with another image.