Dyebath of River Red Gum (eucalyptus camaldulensis) leaves

Making shrouds

Making a shroud isn’t as easy as it sounds.  Even if the opportunity presents itself, I have no interest in going near a body with a soul that has passed into the next life unless it is

a)  a mummy (Egyptian style) or

b) in skeleton form

The idea for the Continuity Ritual exhibition is to make shroud-like cloths from the local environment, so the look of a shroud but with markings made by nature.

eucalyptus dyebath closeup

Eucalyptus leaves (from the River Red Gum) make a black dye if tin and copper is added to the dyebath.

shroud 1

I traced around my daughter for the body shape on cardboard, cut it out, then covered it with plastic.

shroud 2

The cut out shape is placed on a layer of plastic, then the leaves from the dyebath are  placed on the body shape.

shroud 3

A layer of silk is carefully spread over the leaves and sprayed with black dye inside the body shape and water outside of it to completely soak the fabric.

shroud 4

Further layers of leaves and silk are added.  The layers are then covered in plastic and weighted with anything available to push the leaf prints into the fabric.  Will wait a week to see what happens.


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Artist in Adelaide, South Australia. I enjoy viewing and participating in street art and experimenting with photography for surface design.

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