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Autopia (PT)

and natural light as an inspiration

Autopia project was launched in 2017 by artist Stephanie Cristino. From the Greek word "auto" - the radical to say "for oneself" - and "topo", which, in turn, means place.

Stephanie decided to use art to make her utopias real and create her own world!



Specially for Luz Natural, Stephanie drew inspiration from our very name and created postcards in cyanotype! This technique depends 100% of the available natural light. Using the flora of Porto, Stephanie created delicate frames.

The first time I met cyanotype technique was through the Mercado Porto Belo in one of the fascinating squares of Oporto, a city that love and truth, my purpose of life, brought me to live in May 2016!

I met Rodolfo with whom I talked very fascinated by his work of authorship and bought two beautiful postcards that portrayed flowers and I have until today in the dresser of my room.

Stephanie decided to learn the technique in a workshop with Rodolfo and then it was love at second sight! She bought the basic materials and started testing a lot.

Soon she realized that, at the same time that it was not as simple as she had imagined, the same magic she had seen in the workshop appeared with every application of the technique! She could never foresee what the result would be, and even after so many times she continued to be amazed at the magic that was happening when the paper passed through the water, and suddenly the vivid blue took over, turning what once seemed a "mistake " to a captivating image!

Her studio is in her home. It has all the materials ready to enjoy a good sunny day to apply the technique by creating frames through plants that she finds in Porto or from films of her own photos.

Stephanie applies this technique also in textiles and fanzines.

In cyanotype images are created by exposing the salts to the natural light of the Sun! Only chemistry and the sun around us are necessary.

Cyanotype is a printing process based on the photochemical reduction of iron (III) citrate salts, without resorting to cameras or lenses, which produce images in shades of blue (from the Greek word "cyanos", cyan blue).






Stephanie had to wait weeks after weeks for the strong sun to arrive in order to create her cyanotypes, since cloudy days generate cyanotypes with more faint tones! ...








It is a truly handcrafted, manual process and done with care and wandering. The results are always surprising and dependent on the environment that surrounds them!

For me the cyanotype has a therapeutic character. It is very good to practice humility and patience every time I create a frame, since it will never come out the same. As much as I use the same paper size, the same flower, yet each cyanotype is unique. Never the sunlight is the same, suddenly the weather gets cloudy, or the emulsion that gives the blue pigmentation after the revelation penetrates the paper differently, always creating a surprise.

With this project Stephanie wants to convey the hope of not giving up and making our own utopias a reality! 

The beauty of the cyanotype is to capture the essence of nature, in the case of the frames, and bring it to life in an equally artisan way, knowing how to respect even the seasons.

We love this true ode to the power of Natural Light and you?