Thursday, November 29, 2018

Colour Alchimia at FIUHouse Barcelona

Photo: @ard_hez Moodboard by Héctor Noguera

Colour craft was considered one of the most valuable crafts in Ancient times because colour was the most expensive commodity there existed. Today this craft is largely neglected been replaced by digital technology and synthetic alternatives. 

Medieval Artists had to become masters in their craft through practice, knowledge, and even pain in order to obtain the most exotic hues and shades.

Photo: @ard_hez

Colour craft may be defined as the art of making colour such as dyes or pigments using authentic bio-colourants, which can be used for various purposes such as printing, painting, dyeing, cosmetics, food colouring and many other uses. 

A bio-colourant is any natural material in its raw state that imparts colour.

Photo: @ard_hez

The past 24
th of November, I developed a workshop at FIUHouse Barcelona, where participants made natural pigments using bio-colourants.

The main objective of the workshop was to reconnect with matter on a soul level; understand the origin of colour; experience colour with the senses and create unique coloured pieces.

Photo: @ard_hez

It was very encouraging to see how each of the participants dived within themselves while experimenting. There was an intimate connection between the maker/artist; matter and utensils used for extraction.

Each one having their own perception about colour, which led to a unique output. 

Photo: @ard_hez Work by Nuria Torello

Everyone left their soul mark in each colour print; in the process of creating colours by hand; and the making of soulful pieces that cannot be replicated. Each participant was inspired during the hands-on approach, not being driven by the mind but by their soul and heart. 

Photo: @ard_hez Work by Estefanía Farias

It can be said, more people are looking to have an intimate connection with natural materials to stimulate their senses and also work with their hands. This connection stimulates the brain and therefore generates well being.

Photo and work: @ard_hez 

There are not many natural materials that are available in nature that may be used as a bio-colourant for making blue. Throughout history, blue has been a problem for artists in a certain way. 

Photo: @ard_hez Moodboard by Luca Brucculeri

One of the materials that participants used for making blue was Azurite, which is considered to be the one of the first blue options in history. 

Photo: @ard_hez Moodboard by Luca Brucculeri

Azurite, which is a mineral pigment was used as an alternative to expensive Ultramarine. It occurs in many European locations particularly in Southern France, Germany and Hungary, used in tempera and oil paint.

Photo: @ard_hez Moodboard by Carla Cascales

‘Today the science that produces colour is dominated by men in white coats’. (Bucklow, 2009)

Almost every natural pigment has been replaced by a synthetic alternative manufactured in a lab. These pigments only survive in their historical names, which commercial paint adopts to make modern mixtures poetic.

Therefore, we want to bring these colours alive today.

Photo: @ard_hez Work by Lina Perdomo

Photo: @ard_hez