Glass Vessels, Water, Natural Dye Stuff ( Madder Root, Amaranth, Dahlia, Black Eyed Susan, Butterfly Bush, Elderberry, Sandalwood, Sumac, Orange Osage, Chamomile, Turmeric, Cochineal, Annatto Seed, Fustic Wood, Brazil Wood, Rabbit Brush, Safflower, Marigold, Red Onion Skin, Yellow Onion Skin, Goldenrod)
Throughout history, people have used color to make their lives more aesthetic; ornamenting their surroundings with colors observed in plant life, soils, the sky, etc. Sunset is reference to this basic human instinct of collecting color to keep as a reference to the beauty of the natural world. The work utilizes the natural dye technique of ‘solar dyeing’ in a three dimensional format. Solar dyeing is the practice of extracting color from plant material utilizing the heat of the sun and glass vessels as insulators of that heat, which allows the plant color to transform the water inside the vessel into dye.
Still Life (Food Waste)
Still Life (Food Waste) is a reference to the 17th century still life paintings of Dutch vanitas painters. Vanitas is a style of still life painting symbolic of mortality, and alludes to the fleeting nature of life. This photograph of plant dye material is representative of what may be seen in a kitchen or at the table. Here, the kitchen waste, seemingly at the end of its use, produces color, altering the idea of the Vanitas paintings –the fleeting nature of life- and shows these discarded elements of produce in an ongoing afterlife.
Clothesline with Naturally-Dyed, Hand-Made Clothing
The title Hanging Gardens is a reference to the myth and one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, The Hanging Gardens of Babylon. The legend goes that King Nebuchadnezzar II built the Hanging Gardens for his Median wife, Queen Amytis, because she missed the green hills and valleys of her homeland.
Each piece of clothing in Hanging Gardens was dyed using plant material from a single garden. The pieces hanging here represent Berlin gardens, as well as, gardens of Boise locals.
The clothing is made of Ahimsa Silk. Ahimsa Silk, also known as 'Peace Silk,' is non-violent, vegan & eco-friendly. Ahimsa is the Hindi word for “non-violence". It refers to the harvesting of silk without killing the silk worms.
Naturally Dyed Hand-woven Silk Remnant
Replica of the first chemical dye, Mauveine. Hand-dyed naturally with cochineal, silk pre-treated with alum.
The cochineal is a scale insect from which the natural dye carmine is derived. Native to tropical and subtropical South America as well as Mexico and Arizona, this insect lives on cacti in the genus Opuntia, feeding on plant moisture and nutrients.
The carmine dye was used in Central America in the 15th century for coloring fabrics and became an important export good during the colonial period. After synthetic pigments and dyes such as alizarin were invented in the late 19th century, natural-dye production gradually diminished.
Public Intervention, Photographic Documentation, Botanical Identification Markers, Plant with Podium
The typical information that is found on botanical identification markers (the plant’s common and scientific names, native ranges, and the botanical plant family it belongs to) has been replaced by the color name(s) the plant produces naturally. The series of dye plant markers were placed throughout Boise in locations the artists happened upon during their residency.
Still Life (Coreopsis)
Still Life (Food Waste) is a reference to the 17th century still life paintings of Dutch vanitas painters. Vanitas is a style of still life painting symbolic of mortality, and alludes to the fleeting nature of life. Here, death is complimented with life, as the Coreopsis drops its petals while simultaneously coloring the tablecloth.