Aurora 01, Cyanotype, 24.6 x 29.2 cm, Edition of 50, 2020, £60
Aurora 01 is inspired by a diagram of solar winds. The work is composed of halos, streams of energy, and flashes of light, with the Sun depicted as a rotating ball of electricity and the Earth as a portal. The theme of the work is connected to the cyanotype printing process used to create it, invented by the astronomer Sir John Herschel to reproduce diagrams and notes. Ultraviolet sunlight triggers chemical reactions in specially coated paper, giving rise to the deep Prussian hue of ‘blueprints’.
Mary Yacoob’s work encompasses ink on paper, printmaking, wall drawings, large scale vinyl works and lightboxes. She appropriates visual languages from architectural plans, maps, geological and engineering diagrams, alphabets and musical notation. Of interest to the artist is how enlarging a diagram, drawing it and taking it out of context can create visual connections, transforming a functional aid into something mysterious, architectural, spatial or monumental. The hand-made gesture, intricacy, repetition, rhythm, and systems employing order and chance, are all key aspects of her work.