This Wallpaper Celebrates The World's First Female Photographer
Wednesday, February 22, 2017 — To celebrate International Women's Day on 8th March 2017, Murals Wallpaper have taken inspiration from the first female photographer Anna Atkins, whose work they believe embodied the ethos #BeBoldForChange.
20% from every sale of the Anna Atkins print in 2017 will be donated to the Fawcett Society, the UK’s leading charity promoting gender equality and women’s rights at work, at home and in public life.
A First For Women, Scientific Publishing and Photography
The British botanist whose use of cyanotypes - or 'sunprints' - of plants and algae in botanical studies paved the way for the use of photography in scientific publishing. This she accomplished in an era when women’s official foray into science was indeed yet to come; Atkins became a member of the Botanical Society in London in 1839, one of the few scientific societies which were open to women.
Now, versions of her beautiful photographic images are being used in this unique wallpaper design. The print reflects the stunning blue tones that emerge from the cyanotype process, which involves the exposure of a mix of ammonium iron citrate and potassium ferricyanide to ultraviolet light, leaving the paper so-called Prussian blue. The design team at Murals Wallpaper sourced the original photographs, which are now in the public domain, and brought them to life through digital design techniques.
Less than a year after Sir John Herschel invented the cyanotype process, 44-year-old Atkins began applying the technique to sea algae, determined to overcome “the difficulty of making accurate drawings” of these marine species and ushering in a whole new medium for scientific illustration. In 1843, she self-published the groundbreaking images in the pioneering Photographs of British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions.
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