The Colour of Eucalyptus. Australian National Botanical Gardens. 26 May to 25 June
An exhibition of eucalyptus colour specimens and artworks.
My solo exhibition at the Australian National Botanical Gardens (ANBG) Gallery, The Colour of Eucalyptus featured textile, basket and paper-based works that arose from my eucalyptus dye research undertaken at the ANBG from June-November 2016.
This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.
During the project I recorded the colours from the leaves of 230 and the bark from 100 eucalypt species. Each dye has been recorded on a small pieced sampler made from 7 different fabrics, as each fabric shows the dyes uniquely. Together these samplers create a Dye Diary. .
The leaves which create these wonderful dyes were also highlighted in pressed leaf arrangements on paper. Three leaves from each plant have been glued to paper to create large visual records of the leaves which supplied each dye.
A series of small baskets, Held Mysteries were been made using a range of threads, each woven from the colours of one eucalypt species. Using plant dyes is a mysterious process emerging between the plant materials and human intervention. Many eucalypts give unexpected results such as bright oranges and reds on wool. Each basket is made from the threads coloured by one eucalypt species.
Eucalypts are integral to the Australian environment and are found across the entire continent. I came to think of them as a mantle cloaking the country, their roots holding the soils and their leaves and branches providing habitat and shade. I made thousands of colours from the leaves and bark of the 230 eucalypts. The Eucalyptus Mantle series is made from linen, wool and silk dyed during the project. The pattern references weave structures that might be used for a cloth mantle.