Elisabeth is a self employed artist, She was trained in Decorative Arts, She works with Natural dyes and Eco-prints. French born, she is based in Glasgow in Scotland where she runs her sustainable studio “The Lansdowne House”. From the old kitchen (her studio) of her Victorian home she works, creates and teaches Natural dyes and Eco-Printing (since the Covid Crisis online live on zoom).
THE TRUE COLOUR OF THE COTINUS
“The True Colour of the Cotinus” is a global Eco-printing project created by French artist Elisabeth Viguie Culshaw in 2020 during the Covid crisis from her Glasgow studio.
Using the online platform Zoom and a dedicated Facebook group, she wanted to provide isolated Eco-printers from all over the world with a communal simple technique to follow.
By summer 2021 over 700 participants have taken part virtually and created blue prints from the Cotinus plant. In 2022 we learn to extract pigment and we had an exhibition in the Glasgow Botanical garden as well as a printalong Masterclass where 30 Botanical printers printed together while online.
Resilience and creativity were the project key focus, friendship and beautiful prints are the result.
If you want to take part in the project look here for future workshops or PDF methods for fabric and paper printing. Taking one workshop or obtaining one method will allow you in the group. https://thelansdownehouseofstencils.com/2021/09/01/the-true-colour-of-the-cotinus-how-to-make-blue-eco-prints-from-cotinus-leaves/
THE INDIGO PLOT in the Glasgow Botanic Garden:
In 2022 I started a Natural Dye Garden in the Glasgow Botanic Garden “The Indigo Plot” https://thelansdownehouseofstencils.com/2022/05/30/theindigoplot-at-the-botanics/ I love the idea of helping people making the connection between plants and colour. As a natural dyer I care for the environment and I aim at working in a sustainable way. The quality of my process and the ingredients I use are important to me and I want to pass this on. In the first year in the dye garden I grew with the help of some volunteers some Woad, Indigo for blue, Madder for red, Genista and Weld for yellow, some dye flowers and a lot of Flax. I shared during workshops and an exhibition in Septembre. I also curated a project with some home growers in Scotland. Together we grew Japanese Indigo and experimented with it.
I am planning in 2023 a Natural Dye Exhibition in the Glasgow Botanical Garden on September 15 – 17. That will include a Masterclass in Natural dyeing using the dye plants grown in “The Indigo Plot”.
But where did I start?
Elisabeth was trained in Decorative Arts by Christie’s and The University of Glasgow in the 1990’s. With strong connections to the Mackintosh Heritage, She pursued a career in the recreation of historic wall treatment and specialised in stencilling with a special emphasis on the Art Nouveau period. She is well known for her interpretation of Mackintosh’s The House for an Art Lover and her most recent recreation work of the Glasgow “Willows tea rooms” from 1903.
She has a strong interest in Community art and she has been running almost yearly programs involving the Community in Art projects, such as The Big Rose, (West of Scotland, Mackintosh Festival 2016) involving over 500 participants across 13 venues. The public was involved in stencilling large Mackintosh roses outdoors creating communal carpets outside Mackintosh buildings.
She was commissioned in 2015 to recreate some interior stencilling first designed in 1903 by designer and architect George Walton in Dunblane in Scotland.
Inspired by her regular travelling in South East Asia since 1995 she gradually moved into the use of more Eco techniques like Indigo, natural dyes and Ecoprinting. She is self trained but also catches specialised workshops with specialist artists such as Aboubakar Fofana for Indigo, Irit Dullman for Ecoprinting as well as learning from local wisdom she finds around her. She organises skill swaps with other artist as she believe we only learn well from teachers we feel passionate about. In 2020 she organised a skill swap in Thailand sharing her Eco-printing methods with some community of dyers and textile artists agains some of their local knowledge.
She runs The Lansdowne House her home based studio since 1990 and in turn has been using it as a private studio, as a school of stencilling and up-cycling and more recently as the online studio for her online live classes. She entertains a long term relationship with her pupils and regularly organises “get together” wether online live or in person.
2017 The Big Banner project saw 13 “Hand stencilled Roses banners” by groups of participants in public locations before an exhibition of those at The Lighthouse design center in Glasgow during the Mackintosh Festival
2019/2020 in Printing in Woodlands, she gathers the public an gardeners in the Woodlands Community garden to learn the art of Ecoprinting working outdoors. An exhibition of communal pieces takes place in the Glasgow Botanical garden in February 2020 with an open day of free crafts workshops.
In the summer of 2020, in the peak of the Covid crisis she launched “The True Colour of the Cotinus” a global Eco-printing project to test the colours you can obtain from the Cotinus (Smoke Bush) leaves. Set to test the prints on paper, in 2021 the emphasis has moved to fabric with another two online workshops. By mid 2021 over 400 participants are involved in sampling leaves on various target materials. Elisabeth comments “the emphasis is not the leaves, nor the prints… its about creating a focus for participants to connect with. The Cotinus is a great leaf to print and the colour blue obtained gives everyone a focus for attention. The creativity involved and the connection it has created is tremendous. The buzz among the group is well worth the hard work I ended up putting in the project. I hope this will culminate in a physical exhibition at some point.”
When at home, Elisabeth works in a sustainable manner in the circular economy, recycling cloth gathered from the local BnB and using leaves from her local park. When purchasing cloth and dyes she invest in community of weavers/dye producers who can benefit from her orders.
She lives in Glasgow with her husband but her circle of friends, family and pupils is international… she says… “The World is my Village”.
She likes… travelling, cooking, gardening, and spending quiet times in her studio.
She is a member of the West of Scotland guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers and Applied Art Scotland and the Quilting Guild.