Printing in Woodlands, A botanical journey, POP UP EXHIBITION

FREE POP UP EXHIBITION :

23rd November 11am to 4.30 pm

Woodlands Workspace – 66 Ashley Street – Glasgow G3

We will steam bundles  (20 on first come first serve) and show Eco Printing work realised by Artist Elisabeth Viguie Culshaw and novice participants.

PRINTING IN WOODLANDS – THE PROJECT

In the summer of 2019 I eco-printed in the Woodlands Community garden with Betty the gardener and … together, every Wednesday afternoon we welcomed visitors.  Some from the local area and some from far afield… they  helped us creating beautiful prints. We used Botanical material gathered in the garden and some recycled material from my various workshops or donated by Amadeus Guest House a local bed and breakfast with a very generous owner.

We worked in the open air, sometimes under the rain and sometimes under the glorious sun, we just made prints, no agenda but just to adapt to the material I had available from the previous week end workshop. This has been a voluntary project and I have no budget for it. It is always a challenge to create something beautiful when you know your technique inside out. But it becomes a real challenge when every week you work with different material, dyes, mordants… leaves and flowers and complete novices… but still we made prints… beautiful prints… we became more and more confident and visitors kept on coming.

Vicky and Jerry who run the garden for the Woodlands community trust tolerated the project to start with a gentle smile but gradually as I became part of the garden  they welcomed me with a bigger and bigger smile, assuming something beautiful would be achieved by the end of the afternoon…

Heather one of the volunteer searched her back room and her attic for “stuff” to donate to the project, one day a pack of tiles, one day a lovely aluminium kettle which has become one of my favourite container to eco print in small bundles…. a donated baby’s blanket became a stunning Logwood blanket creating our “triptych” piece and some 20 + years old envelopes were simmered in Logwood to create beautiful prints of the Aquilegia plant which always gives a stunning orange imprint….

My daughter and her boyfriend when visiting from Germany came to print him a sleeping bag bedlinen for his trip to the Highlands. On the last day we had the visit of a long term Instagram follower who could not contain her joy when we opened our bundle… Her smile is forever in my memory as a souvenir of a fun day in the garden.

Printing in Woodlands is one of the best experience I have ever had with Eco Printing and it beats by far any organised workshop. It has been a spontaneous, generous, challenging and so very rewarding experience. My creativity and technical knowledge have been pushed to the limit. How to make something outstanding with NOTHING ! has become my forte… If I can make it work standing under the rain with the wind blowing my leaves out of the way and the fire refusing the catch on… I can make it happen everywhere.

My participants have made me work with some seriously weird material out of necessity, like the painter’s heavy cotton canvas… or the cloth I have been carrying in the boot of my car for an odd 20 years which is now holding one of our best prints… I have used onion skins, Logwood, Sapanwood, Heather, St Johns’ wort and so on as dye and some rain water for water. I have dipped my hands in icy cold tub of water to wet my cloth and carried my very large size catering Aluminium pot every week  to the garden in a huge Ikea bag… so much that the neighbour smile when I was past… They all know where I am heading for…Off course I could have driven there but its not very environment friendly and you cant park there anyway… I have made friends with the gardeners and the volunteers… I have my favourite trees and bushes I pick up leaves from on the way. Like a Botanical map of the West end…

I love the colourful tiled bbq in the garden where my pot stands… its right in the middle of the garden and from there, wherever you look its all green and lush, with to the left those huge lush artichoke leaves … the ones from the banner in the photo. Huge purple flowers a bit like thistle just not quite. There we stand chatting away while the pot steams the bundles waiting to see what magic is going to come out of it. That pot never failed to please our sense of smell (yes simmering leaves have a delightful smell) and off course the delightful prints which emerge during the “Big Reveal” are a total pleasure to the eye. I am rejoicing every-time with the OHHH and AHHH and OMG look at this:)

So no wonder I want to share with you all we made…The Garden printed through the 6 months of our project … every single of our afternoon from the fuzzy prints of our debut to the very successful Triptych.

If you could not make it to our Wednesday afternoon sessions do not worry… we will be back in the garden next Spring from May 2020 onwards hoping we can meet you there and take up where we stopped. New leaves… New prints… We will go through the greens and the reds till the leaves turn red again… I just cant wait to be back but in the meantime… please come and marvel !

Pop up exhibition :

23rd November 2019 between 11 and 4.30 pm   – Woodlands workspace 66 Ashley Street Glasgow G3

29th February and 1st of March 2020 between 11 and 4.30 – Glasgow Botanical Gardens (Kibble Palace). We will put some bundles on, We will show the peace cloth and some hand made books by Cassandra Barron, we will run simple bookbinding demo and some cyanotype demo.

Both exhibitions are FREE and Eco friendly…. If you want to donate any material to our project please bring it along (PS we only take natural fibres and paper).

Cant wait to meet you…

With Love

Betty xxx

 

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