In the past, textile dyers used animal-based materials in the hope that the colors took to the textiles better, this process was inspired by "Animalizing '', an alchemical term for adding an animal-driven material to matter to revive it.
Alchimia is a series of tapestries inspired by the entangled ecosystems in the natural world between animals, plants, and minerals and the human need to categorise, divide and organise nature around us.
The materials used in the tapestries are driven from animals such as blood, collagen and milk, minerals such as hematite and aluminium, plant parts such as the oak apple and flowers and roots of the Rubia tinctorum plant; together, the materials create a rich variety of colours through alchemical reactions. The project was inspired by the use of animal products such as urine, faeces, and blood to "animalize"* in old recipes for fabric and leather dying (used in the complex recipe for turkey red and the recipe for oxblood-coloured leather). and the invention of milk protein fibres in the 50s as a solution for scarcity.
*Animalizing is a term taken from alchemy and applied in creating new substances with "livingness".
Size: height 160 cm x width 80 cm
Materials: hematite, aluminium, blood, madder root and flowers, milk yarn, collagen yarn, wool, and bio cotton.
The project is made possible by the Creative Industries of The Netherlands (Stimulering Fonds)
And in collaboration with the Textile Museum Tilburg and dyer Roua AlHalabi.