CAMERA-LESS photographs? Is that possible? Indeed it is, as you can discover in York at Alun Kirby's All Small Things Must Evolve Slowly exhibition, which opens today at the School House Gallery, off Peasholme Green, with a preview gathering tonight when the artist will be present from 7pm.

"The first solo show by emerging York artist Alun Kirby shows off camera-less photographs made using an early-Victorian process called the cyanotype," says gallery co-director Robert Teed. "Alun’s work has mastered this process to address themes of memory and self in visual imagery."

The cyanotype was invented in 1842 at the birth of photography. The pictures are made without cameras, and there are no negatives and no copies; each piece is unique. Whereas traditional photography requires fractions of a second, this process, involving sunlight, can take anything from a few minutes up to several months to capture the final image.

"Alun also has invented a new process, called the ‘metamorphogram’, which combines origami and cyanotype to make pieces that essentially make a photographic memory of themselves," says Robert. "The School House Gallery is excited to be showing this new technique for the first time."

Alun spent 15 years developing his use of the cyanotype in his artistic process, whereupon he left behind his previous life as a research immunologist in the University of York biology department to commit fully to his art in 2016. He has exhibited in London, Manchester and York and his works are held privately from Australia to Sweden and many places in between. He has lived and worked in York since 2005 and makes all his work in his garden using Yorkshire sunshine.

To tie in with the exhibition, Alun will give a free artist talk, entitled Photography In The Iron Age, at the gallery tomorrow at 2pm, when he will discuss cyanotypes and his work. Later, he will run a cyanotype workshop on Saturday, September 9 from 9.30am to 3.30pm at a cost of £55, including lunch and materials. Eight of the ten places are still available and anyone interested should ring Robert Teed on 07766 656030 or send an email to

"This exhibition continues a new and exciting direction for the School House Gallery, as we reimagine our exhibition space as a social setting with a pop-up cafe/bar," says Robert.

"Over the Bank Holiday weekend, from today to Monday, the gallery will be open as a pop-up bar and café from 11am till 10pm, including live music tomorrow evening from 8.30pm. All Small Things Must Evolve Slowly will run until the end of September and the opening hours will be 11am to 5pm, Wednesday to Saturday, with the extended hours for the pop-up weekend."

The next artist booked into the School House Gallery is York's own Jake Attree. "We're excited to be working with Jake once again and are busy planning an exhibition to launch in October," says Robert. "Jake will complete a working residency at the gallery in late 2017, with more details coming soon, but meanwhile, to whet your appetite, you can enrol for our Jake Attree Drawing Workshop on September 23 and 24 at a cost of £120."