Gum bichromate is a 19th-century contact printing process that basically combines chemistry and watercolor paints to create multiple layers of color. Cyan, yellow, magenta, and sometimes black pigments are used to build up a full color image. Digital technology has allowed for color-separation negatives so that each pigment layer has a corresponding negative. Gum bichromates are one of the most archival photographic processes. They also have a soft and dreamy image quality that makes them very appealing to the eye.
Here is what Diana has to say about her work:
"Much of my work focuses on the intersection of the past and memory. The interpretive and fugitive nature of both lends itself to a kind of narrative, and that’s the form that most of my work follows. I like to think of my images as visual vignettes that suggest half-remembered and slightly fragmented dream worlds. To help me create this type of imagery, I typically print in antique printing processes. I have found the gum bichromate process, in particular, to be the most creative and interpretive– at times, endlessly forgiving; at other times, not so much. And, somewhat like life, the gum process appears rife with surprises, happy accidents, frustration, disappointment, and major heartache. Yet for all that, gum offers seemingly endless possibilities, frequently veering off into whole new magical worlds. The repeated layerings of a gum print allow both a richness and a softness. All the hard edges disappear. Slight mis-registrations suggest movement, ambiguity, and remove all the sharp clarity (much the way we remember).
I also frequently use toy and pinhole cameras for my work. I’ve always felt that the downside, if there is any, of the photographic still image is its static nature. Toy and pinhole cameras offer a fluidity and a filmic quality that I like to see in my visual storytelling."