VAV GALLERY

Dyeing from the kitchen

Gemma Stevens

Gemma Stevens

Project Statement

Dyeing from the Kitchen is a research based project designed to provide accessible instructions to artists who wish to incorporate natural dyes and materials into their own practices. Having recently begun natural dyeing, a whole new way to connect to my environment was introduced, and I wished to make this experience accessible to a larger audience. Dyeing from the Kitchen was designed to provide a wide enough variety of dyes and fibres for a beginner to learn the basics of natural dyeing. Incorporating homemade dyes into one’s practice allows for a deeper connection to the process of making and integrates a level of sustainability into one’s practice. Dyes extracted from natural sources have a history as old as human civilization, and with an increasing awareness of health and environmental hazards of synthetic dyes, these traditions are seeing a massive resurgence. More than their connection to history and sustainable practices, collecting materials to create natural dyes can be a great way to build a profound relationship to colour and to one’s surroundings.

Artist Bio

Gemma Stevens is an interdisciplinary artist whose practice is primarily rooted in photography, but expands beyond the camera into a variety of mediums, depending on her project intentions. Within her practice Gemma explores the reciprocal physical and psychological relationships that we foster to space and to place. Her work is informed in part by the concept of topophilia, which was popularized by Yi-fu Tuan, and is defined as a love of place. Tuan argues that  “place is space filled with meaning.” Gemma chooses to explore how meaning can be attached to space through the exploration of the local, the familiar and occasionally, the unfamiliar. By intimately exploring her surroundings through her work, Gemma encourages her audience to meditate on their own relationships to place and space.