Woad, Weld and Madder: from plot to palette

Bethlem Gallery

24th February – 18th March 2016

Open 10am – 5pm Wednesday to Friday and the first and last Saturdays of each month

The earliest recorded uses of colour by man were from pigments from plant extracts. In Stone Age times warriors used colour from the Woad plant to paint their skin before going into battle. With the evolution of modern paints artists and textile makers no longer have to manufacture their own pigments and the link between colours and their origin is disappearing. The communal and healing experience of harvesting and producing dyes from plant materials has also largely been lost from western society.

This exhibition will be a culmination of a project, led by Eco Illustrator Deisa Centazzo from Magic Dye House, in collaboration with the Occupational Therapy department at Bethlem Royal Hospital, which engages patients in the making of dyes and pigments from plants grown in the hospital’s Walled Garden. Patients harvest and prepare pigments and then use them in the Occupational Therapy art and textile studios to experiment with, colouring fabrics, painting with watercolours and mark making. This ‘plot to palette’ approach enables artists to be involved in the complete process from the nurturing of plants through to experimenting and developing artworks using the natural pigments.



Art-making outfits

Wednesday 2nd March, 2pm-5pm

Join us for this DIY workshop with artist Matthew who modifies and adapts his clothing into specific art-making outfits, tailoured for his way of making art.

Click here for more information and to book free tickets

From the soil to the soul

Saturday 5th March, 2:30pm-5pm

Join Deisa Centazzo and Peter O’Hare for a tour of the Walled Garden followed by a natural pigment making workshop.

Click here for more information and to book free tickets


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