Out of the Blue: Cyanotypes by Midge Battelle, Rebecca Bruyn, and Amy Heller


Out of the Blue refers to the brilliant and rarely achieved Prussian blue color indicative of cyanotype photography.

This mid-19th century process developed by Sir John Herschel is at the heart of the exhibit. Anna Atkins first published her botanical studies in the 1840s using cyanotype and almost two centuries later, Midge Battelle, Rebecca Bruyn, and Amy Heller, three admired and respected photographers in the Provincetown community and beyond, have worked with this method of photography for many years. They offer three distinct and mature bodies of work that are unique, yet integrated into a cohesive statement of vision.

Using this 19th century medium and combining it with a 21st century approach expands the limits of traditional cyanotype photography. Each artists uses cyanotypes in their work as a launching point and combines them with a variety of methods and materials such as digital images, fabric, sculpture, photographs, light boxes, motors, iPhoneography, etc. These artists explore a contemporary world of two and three dimensional photography, while at the same time, upholding the integrity of the simple antique photographic process, inspired by Herschel and Atkins. 


Midge Battelle

Midge Battelle was born and raised in Worcester, MA and currently resides in Provincetown. She graduated from Greenfield community college and received a BFA from the Massachusetts College of Art with a concentration in photography. During the past several years Midge has been an active member of the Provincetown Art Association and Museum.

Rebecca Bruyn

Rebecca Bruyn has been capturing her love of light for over 50 years. Since the turn of this last century, she has chosen an alternative approach to her work. The techniques she uses span three centuries of photography, from the cyanotype sun prints of the 1800s to the use of the iPhone in the 21st century. With her discovery of post processing apps and the spontaneity of the iPhone, she found herself unexpectedly immersed in a new world of creativity. Both her cyanotypes and Digital Art/iPhoneography images can be seen at Cortile Gallery in Provincetown, MA.

Amy Heller

Amy Heller is an award-winning artist and her work has been exhibited and published nationally and internationally. She has been making cyanotypes for many years and loves the idea of mixing this 19th century process with 21st century digital technology and printing on non-traditional/unexpected surfaces such as fabric, wood and acrylic.

Amy loves the color blue representing the sky & sea and is inspired by fond memories of beachcombing and swimming in Provincetown with her mother. She is currently working with aquatic themes and images of seaweed and algae, a nod to Anna Atkins.

Amy received her MFA in Photography from The George Washington University in Washington, DC and a BFA in Studio Art/Design from Hampshire College in Amherst, MA. Amy and her husband reside on Cape Cod.