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Colours From the Garden - Natural Dyes

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Beyond  Gardening - Natural Dyes

Collaborations are wonderful especially when you are from different niches. I had never explored projects beyond upcycling and sewing until this year!

I first met Nova of Cultivate Central at what was then known as Mini Maker Faire back in 2013. We were both setting up our booths - Nova had her DIY upside down planters and I had my A Darn Good Mending Cafe - and we ended up being so busy that we didn't have time to stop and chat. We met again at another festival, but this time at the Esplanade where we were engaging children in hands-on activities. I had a mini upcycling weaving installation while Nova had this elaborate plant pipe system.  I didn't think that we would get to collaborate (I mean what do plants and textiles have in common, right?) until Nova dropped me a line earlier on this year.  She had seen my experiments on eco prints and natural dyes  since the beginning of the year and thought it would be good to host a "beyond gardening" workshop, which explores the interconnections between the garden and non-gardening disciplines.

Beyond  Gardening - Natural Dyes


I was very excited as it was a chance to explore and share what I had learned. It just so happened that the workshop coincided with my art residency at L'Observartoire too!  I wanted to connect the participants with nature yet also understand how it contributes to our community, and living in such a fast paced society, we sometimes forget what nature has to offer.  We eventually settled on  dye pot of mango leaves, tumeric, pandan, blue pea flower, and even marigold from the from Cultivate Central's garden at The Art Ground

The day started off with a stew of mango leaves (someone did think we making wanton soup!) and ended off with a cacophony of banging and laughter from the children.  Everyone was so creative making their own patterns, combining colours, using different folding techniques and creating their own pieces of art. Towards the end of the workshop, I think everyone definitely agreed that beyond gardening rocks. And I can say for sure that beyond sewing rocks too!


All images are courtesy of Cultivate Central

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Abdelghafour

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