Dyebath of River Red Gum (eucalyptus camaldulensis) leaves
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 leaves (from the River Red Gum) make a black dye if tin and copper is added to the dyebath.
I traced around my daughter for the body shape on cardboard, cut it out, then covered it with plastic.
The cut out shape is placed on a layer of plastic, then the leaves from the dyebath are placed on the body shape.
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.
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.