Girl in Blue

Brittney Appleby

Girl in Blue is a short experimental film shot on 16mm that reflects on how isolating depression, grief and chronic illness can be. The film was made with cyanotype emulsion and all footage was hand processed with eco-developer made from spring flowers.

Flowers have always inspired me and my practice. The spring is my favourite time of year as we get to watch life return to nature. During the pandemic I have found solace in working with plants. I began making botanical cyanotypes in February as the spring flowers first began to emerge. Walking around my neighbourhood and becoming familiar with the different species of flowers and plants was something that brought me comfort during these uncertain times. I have lived with clinical depression for a long time so feeling blue is something I am very familiar with, however this last year it’s been hard feeling to escape. The deep blue of the cyanotypes reflected my current emotional state so perfectly. Processing grief and living with chronic illness is something that is deeply linked to my experiences with depression and it felt important for me to create work that reflected my current emotions and reality.

One of my favourite experimental processes is eco-processing which is where you use flowers to create a non-toxic and biodegradable film developer. Combining eco-developer and the cyanotype process as one felt like a natural progression for me. I experimented with creating a cyanotype gelatine emulsion and coated clear 16mm film. This film was then exposed to the sunlight and resulted in an abstract crystallization formation. Through the combination of all of these techniques Girl in Blue was born.

Brittney Appleby

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Brittney Appleby (She/They) is a queer interdisciplinary artist and filmmaker living on the unceded territories of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), səl̓ílwətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) First Nations, otherwise known as Vancouver, BC. Appleby holds a Diploma in Fine Arts from Langara College and graduated with their BFA majoring in Visual Arts from Emily Carr University of Art + Design in Spring 2021. Their primary focus is in analogue film and photography, as well as performance and installation. Some of the themes they explore in their work are the body, trauma, memory and nostalgia. Appleby is most inspired by the materiality of analogue practices and incorporates their background in painting, drawing and printmaking into experimental filmmaking.
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