Puro… alegría

Over the past year photographer James Sparshatt and painter Rachael Dalzell have collaborated using their individual expertise to create an interpretation of a portrait. They have achieved this by maintaining their own sense of identity and passion for what they do. Sparshatt’s photograph ‘Puro…Alegria’ has been enlivened by Dalzell’s use of of colour and technique, bringing a new energy and appreciation to one of his most iconic portraits.

“I had to build up the courage to work with these beautiful photographs but once I began, the thrill of squeezing the first drop of paint has never softened. I’m so aware of the differences in our process…caution vs instinct, black and white vs colour, diligence vs playfulness, objectiveness vs subjectiveness. My choice of colour reflects our animated subject.” Rachael Dalzell

“Puro…Alegria is a portrait of Graciela, an icon of old Havana. It was taken in 2001 on one of my first visits to the island. She is of the generation of Cubans who lived through the revolution and learned to make the most of life’s experience etched into her face. Rachael’s interpretations bring alive her spirit, her humour and the energy and lust of life she always exuded.” James Sparshatt

What is a platinum print?

Palladium platinum prints are special, loved by both photographers and treasured by collectors due to their beauty and permanence.

The delicate, rich platinum tones range from warm black, to reddish brown, to expanded mid-tone greys that are unobtainable in silver prints, in the deepest shadows the platinum print still presents the information; the platinum whites are delicate and the depth of the image is alive and three-dimensional.

The platinum metals (platinum and palladium) are more stable than gold, whereby a platinum image that is properly made, can last for a thousand years, probably outliving the paper it was printed on.

The prices of producing a platinum print is time consuming and highly skilled. James Sparshatt works alongside critically acclaimed UK-based printmaker Max Caffell at 31 Studio to produce his beautiful black and white photographs.

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