Natural dyes are at the heart and soul of my textiles work. While most of the dye stuff I use can be found in my pantry, when I’m not using food Logwood is a favorite. I gravitate towards food as dye stuff for conceptual reasons; dyeing the textiles of my European ancestry with Jamaican foods. As a highly coveted and pirated dye during the days of colonial trade in the West Indies, logwood brings another layer to the history I infuse my works with.  

Natural dyes challenge my understanding of colour. As a painter one learns how to combine pigments to create hues and colours, these are the same rules we all learnt as children. Red and yellow make orange, green is made from mixing yellow and blue. Natural dyes stain fiber through chemical reactions and have nothing to do with the painter’s colour rules. Dark purple onions produce the most beautiful pale, golden-yellow I have ever seen. Adding iron will darken and dull a dye bath to make rich greys and blacks. 

Using the concepts of colour as chemical reaction I painted light washes of logwood over a canvas scrap and let the dye and fiber determine the colour. As the fabric was not treated the piece gradually fades even when kept out of direct light. This constant flux fascinates me. The piece constantly changes. I like to think of the piece as moving through time at warp speed, experiencing a rapid version of the natural fading all textiles and fibers go through.

To share on Facebook or Twitter you will need this link http://wp.me/sTlof-logwood



1 thought on “Logwood

  1. Pingback: Silk & a culture of exotic foods « Anastasia E White

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