Louisa Armbrust’s Blue Swimmer—Frame 003 is a cyanotype depicting a ghostly swimmer suspended in deep blue space. She based her imagery on black and white underwater photographs of Olympic athletes demonstrating various swimming strokes that she found in a 1950s Hungarian swimming manual. The artist acknowledges that in the YouTube era, these manuals are outdated but still beautiful and inspiring. Armbrust reenacted illustrations from the manual by positioning her body over cotton fabric coated with UV-sensitive cyanotype solution. The sunlight captures negative imprints of her body and streaks from the fabric’s ripples. Echoing back to the nineteenth century technique, this work illuminates the beauty and relevance of historic photographic processes in contemporary art.
Louisa Armbrust lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. Awards include Artist-in-Residence at Millay Colony for the Arts, LMCC Swing Space, New Works Project Grant from Harvestworks Digital Media Art Center, New York, Artist-in-Residence at Vermont Studio Center. Her work has been shown at museums and galleries including the Urban Institute of Contemporary Art, Grand Rapids, MI, the Hofstra Museum, Hempstead, NY, the Museum of Contemporary Art/Denver, and Eye Level Gallery, Halifax, Nova Scotia. She received an MA in Visual Arts from Goldsmiths College, University of London.