Chromatic Geography: Natural Dyes In The 21st Century

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Chromatic Geography: Natural Dyes In The 21st Century
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Chromatic Geography: Natural Dyes In The 21st Century says
June 8 – August 26, 2017
Opening Reception, Thursday, June 8, 6 – 9 pm
Craft Ontario Gallery
1106 Queen St. W., Toronto

For the majority of human history, all colour used by designers, artists and craftsmen has been obtained from natural sources. Dyes were solely derived from plants, insects and minerals, with many that were difficult to source and process, making them highly prized commodities. After a glory period for natural dyes during the early industrial revolution, which produced beautifully coloured and patterned textiles, the advent of synthetic dyes in the mid-19th century caused natural dyes to fall into disuse.

Today, interest in natural dyes is undergoing a global revival, fueled by a growing awareness of the harmful by-products of the industrial dye process, and a greater understanding of the environmental issues relating to textile production. A new generation of environmentally conscious artists and designers are exploring the use of natural dyes while re-examining regional production, often within the context of a “DIY” approach to life and work. Bioregionalism as an expression of a sense of place and cultural origin is a dominant theme, and is exemplified by the use of local dyes and traditional techniques. The rise of the local is also motivated by a desire to revive post-industrial economies and local, small-scale industries such as dyestuff and fibre cultivation. Moreover, science and innovation in commercial applications of natural colour belie dismissive misconceptions about larger-scale applications.

Chromatic Geography examines these new trends, and presents a diversity of approaches to the use of natural dyes, from scientific research and raw material development, to innovative, contemporary applications in craft, fashion, design and art, with personal approaches to materials and aesthetics.

Chromatic Geography is curated by Rachel MacHenry and Thea Haines, featuring the work of Bio Dye, Liam Blackburn, Studio Blond & Bieber, Abigail Booth, Caroline Forde, Gitte Hansen, Mackenzie Kelly-Frere, Hiroko Karuno, Jason Logan - Toronto Ink Company, Maiwa, Matson + Palmer, Rowland Ricketts, Meghan Spielman, Gabriela Zurita

Chromatic Geography is also please to be co-presenting a series of workshops co-presented with Craft Ontario and the Contemporary Textile Studio Cooperative. Stay tuned for more information.
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