The week-long exhibition DYESCAPES - Reflections in Natural Dyes, was the culmination of 10 years of research into the world of dyes.
My interest in Natural Dyes is an extension of my passion of Gardening and plants and combined with a lifelong involvement in the Arts, just a natural progression.
I am fortunate to have such a generous canvas in form of plants all around me on our farm in the Blue Mountains, where DYEHAUS studio is located.
In order to expand my knowledge of dyes beyond the Diploma of Textile Design, I have travelled the world to learn from dye masters such Michel Garcia, Catherine Elliott, Hiroshi Murase, Jane Callender, Hiroyuki Shindo and Aboubakar Fofana and of course many local dyers, particularly Joanna Fowles.
After acquiring a solid foundation in a myriad of dye-techniques, I spent this year of forced isolation reflecting on my learning.
I restricted myself to plants occurring locally and in abundance which allowed me to soak the 3 m long Dyescape drapes in generous amounts of dye, which resulted in a very harmonious palette overall.
I wanted to express the importance of our connection to the land and our environment in form of dyes which are the essence of the plants around us, the dyes represent our surroundings.
Most of the works on show were inspired by the 2020 bushfires which is when they were created. I felt the need to preserve and record what we were losing at a rapid rate.
I tried to create an immersive experience in a contemplative setting through movement, by billowing the large Dyescapes, nature sounds and eucalyptus scent, which was very strong naturally when I first hung the works.
The two other main works were 'Inferno', which proved very popular and went to a good home.
As did 'Aftermath', the indication of a new direction altogether by scanning natural dye patterns and mounting it on acrylic and mirror.
The backroom showcased a cross section of my work, as well as experimental painting with pigments and dyes.
The Open Night was a great success and despite Covid restrictions dyers past and present enjoyed the opportunity to get together.
But I am particularly pleased that the show was able to interest those who had no concept of Natural Dyes. I think the Box of Curios containing dye material and inspiration might have assisted.
The residents of Paddington have been wonderful, I so enjoyed meeting so many creatives and I hope we will stay in touch.
The exhibition was an exhilarating experience, a first solo show and so much fun. But it wouldn't have been possible without the help and advice of my friends and family who encouraged me to realise this dream.
And of course everyone who came to visit, made it all worthwhile.
See you again,