Greece on Emulsion Transfers

Chiara-Sophia Coyle

Sophia Coyle Weekly Hubris Banner

“Even now, as I play with the emulsion, a subject comes alive in my hands. Throughout the process, I am able to revisit elements I long for. I am able to feel the light, see the colors, hear the sounds. I am transferred, myself, for a brief yet enduring moment. The implausible sensation of freedom comes alive again and breathes through my new images. A form of unspoken magic unfolds and I become aligned with who I am.Chiara-Sophia Coyle

Clicks & Relativity

By Chiara-Sophia Coyle

Sophia Coyle, Weekly Hubris

OAKLAND California—(Weekly Hubris)—January 2019—The legend maintains that Polaroid Emulsion Transfers were discovered by chance in the early 1960s when a Polaroid technician testing batches of the new peel-apart chemistry left the negative portion face-down on a white countertop. The following morning, when the technician peeled the dry negative from the countertop, he realized that the test image had been transferred to the countertop as a positive.

Experimentation was discouraged, but transfers resurfaced in the 1970s, when amateur photographers found that the technique gave their images a unique look, and began utilizing all the many ways one could transfer an image onto any porous material. Image transfers are described as a “crossover” art form, one that blurs the distinction between conventional photography and hand-crafted art such as painting. Unlike the precise images of photographic prints, image transfers suggest a moody, dream-like world.

Emulsion Transfers came into my own life during a very long, cold (California cold) and wet winter in the 90s. I had recently moved to California—a single parent, with very few friends, certainly no baby sitter nor the funds to pay for one. My whole being was aching for Motherland Greece. I found a way to reconnect with home through my photographic images; exploring Emulsion Transfers in the kitchen of my small apartment.

Using 35mm slides and a Day Lab Processor (slide printer), I was able to transfer images onto Polaroid film. To create an “emulsion transfer,” the positive part of the Polaroid film is first cured and then, through a series of steps, the image is separated in hot water, leaving a remarkable thin membrane (the actual image), which can be placed on a porous surface, sculpted, stretched, wrinkled or torn, creating a unique feeling each and every time.

Even now, as I play with the emulsion, a subject comes alive in my hands. Throughout the process, I am able to revisit elements I long for. I am able to feel the light, see the colors, hear the sounds. I am transferred, myself, for a brief yet enduring moment. The implausible sensation of freedom comes alive again and breathes through my new images. A form of unspoken magic unfolds and I become aligned with who I am. 

Thus, I maintained, maintain, my energy . . .

Dichotomy

Dichotomy.

Wrinkle In My Time.

Wrinkle In My Time.

Survival.

Survival.

Weathering In Nature.

Weathering In Nature.

Winter Fishing Dawn.

Winter Fishing Dawn.

Crashing.

Crashing.

Chiara-Sophia Coyle

About Chiara-Sophia Coyle

Born in the United States in the 1960s (then, transplanted to a very small, remote Greek island at the age of three months); brought up in a bilingual and frequently culturally conflicted environment; repatriated to Homeland No. 1 some 25 years ago; descended from four generations of photographers, Chiara-Sophia Coyle was acquainted with photography from an early age; always pursued by her mother, Rolleiflex at the ready, recording and sharing scenes of family life with absent grandparents and her children's working-at-sea father. Photography became Coyle's own escape as a young teenager. Kodak Instamatic in hand, the sound of the twist and the advancement of the film music to her ears, she began exploring all the elements of the Aegean: water, light, white, blue. While never an income generator, photography is what kept the artist sane as she navigated the challenges of single parenting, and endured the endless longing and aching for Homeland No. 2. Experimenting, early, with Emulsion Transfers, Coyle moved on to printing in her own dark room; then, to digital and iphoneography, constantly experimenting and exploring the new. Global travel presented opportunities to further discover, document, and exhibit, most recently in Oakland, California. Still based in Oakland, Coyle continues to travel, photograph, and work with what feeds her soul, wherever she may be: the people, the water, the reflections, the abstract. Her current art may be found on Instagram (#chiarasophia1); contact her at chiarasophia@gmail.com.
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2 Responses to Greece on Emulsion Transfers

  1. Avatar Will says:

    Chiara-Sophia, what lovely transformations from the original subjects! I love that the ‘invisible’ membrane becomes an integral part of the image, once transferred. What an exciting new medium to see in these pages – Welcome!

  2. Avatar Chiara-Sophia Coyle says:

    Will, thank you for your warm welcome and comments! I’m excited to share my “trip” and various mediums close to my heart!

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