‘Matter in Motion and the Mysticism of Nature’s Colour’
Visionary cross-disciplinary collaboration with Professor Jonas Bergquist Uppsala University and Gustavianum Museum ‘art and science’ funded by the Swedish arts grants committee. The whole project is artistic visionary with the aim to bring together different professions in creative meetings initiating creative processes that generate mutual learning and new exciting dialogue.
Exploring my artistic research – the process and the experimental approach methods around natures complexity with natural pigment and water in collaboration with scientists that generates learning.
Water and Natural colour project and installation, a collective water project at Navet Science Center
Visualising the future of natural colour at Steneby, an area shrouded with nature and water will be an interesting place to explore a residency.
An Experience of working with Natural Dye and High Technological Weaving in Sweden.
International Symposium and Exhibition on Natural Dyes and World Eco-Fiber and Textile Forum ISEND2012
27 September – 1 October 2012
Theme: ‘WASTE TO WEALTH’
Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia
Organic Silk and Natural Dyeing – Textile has for the human in Laos played an important roll in the practical ceremonies and religious life. It has been there for thousands of years, and these textiles can be studied as a material product of their society.
Book project – Matter in motion and the mysticism of nature’s colour
A collection of essays concerning the philosophical aspects of natures colour and the works of Jeanette Schäring
In the book “Matter in Motion and the Mysticism of Nature´s Colour- the Art of Jeanette Schäring” we are presented to a unique body of work, combining traditional knowledge of dyeing with plants, environmentalism and contemporary artistic research. By foregrounding the processual character of natures colours rather than focusing on the practical uses of pigments and fibres, Schäring opens her work to a contemporary discussion involving new-materialist thinking, theories of thinking, language and interspecies communication as well as ethical reflections on gender, human rights and just sharing of the worlds resourches. In Schärings art the colours produced through the complex interaction of plants, water and bacterial fermentation becomes a language indicating both water quality, bacterial activity and how the plant has been growing, thereby translating a kind of Earthly fundamental language to our human perception.
The book is the second issue of the 284 Publishers series Co/Co-, Coevolution Concept. The aim of the series is to broaden our perspectives about living on Earth and discuss it as a continual practice of co-habiting and co-involving as part of a multi-species network. Jeanette Schärings book is the first book in the series to acknowledge the multi-layered importance of relating to plants, and as such rise philosophical questions even about the nature of light and distribution of clean water.
The book is specked with essays by writers from four continents:
Jeanette Schäring, (artist, Sweden / New Zealand) Pooja Kaul (PhD Philosophy, India) Heather I Sullivan (Professor of modern languages, ecocriticism, USA) Ingmar Meland (PhD philosophy, Norway) Ida Bencke (poet, ecocriticism, Denmark/Germany) Jonas Bergquist (Professor neuro chemistry and analytical chemistry , Sweden) Fröydi Laszlo (artist, editor Sweden/Norway) and Frida Arnqvist Engström (journalist, Sweden. Engström´s essay is in Swedish )
Available to order from
Adlibris (Swedish site)
Woad, Isatis Tinctoria, has a long history in Sweden albeit not yet fully researched and documented. Woad was used to obtain blue colour long before the start of indigo import to Sweden. For example it is known that textiles from the Migration Period (500 AD) as well as from the Viking Age (800 AD – 1100 AD) were dyed with woad. Documented by Linnaeus in the 18th century woad still grows wild in coastal areas of the Baltic Sea. Woad was used in the indigo dyeing process (the so called woad vat) until the end of the 19th century but soon after practically all knowledge of woad dyeing techniques was forgotten. However the recent revival of natural dyes has brought a new interest in the dye. We will report on an on-going investigation into the properties of woad.
Jeanette Schäring has been experimenting with woad, carrying on research into environmentally friendly craft methods. Together with Jonas Bergquist, professor in Analytical Chemistry at Department of Chemistry Uppsala University, she has investigated possible applications of woad in biomedical research. The research includes experiments looking at the antibacterial activity of woad. They have found new possibilities in the use of woad pigment for staining fibres used for sutures inside the body and in biomedicine. Woad can also be used as a colorant when studying nerve cells. Furthermore wool and cotton fabrics dyed with woad and indigo by Schäring, were investigated at the Swedish National Heritage Board in 2012 by Doctor Judith Bannerman and Senior Conservator Margareta Bergstrand. There are preliminary results of these comparative investigations into the tensile strength and light-fastness. The future for woad in Sweden may include cultivation of the plant as well as further research into the use of woad for medicinal purposes as well as for dyeing of high technological fibres. However the most interesting future for woad may be in the joining of art, crafts and science.
Natural Dyeing is now part of a global movement involving artists and designers who want to work with natural, living and environmentally friendly dyes as artisans and in the textile industry. Dyeing is a slow process, a time-consuming, complex and undervalued craft. Plant dyes can provide an environmentally friendly alternative to synthetic dyes, especially when derived from leftover food and plants, which are renewable, non-toxic and biodegradable. Yet water shortage is a huge challenge now and will be in the future. How do we develop sustainable dye processes?
I use colour from nature as a social, cultural and perceptible form of communication between nature, animal and human beings, as well as an indicator of our fragile eco-system. I don’t use ready-made recipes. Colour and patterns are mutable, resonances of nature’s complexity, sensitive to nature’s rhythms, waves and movements. These are place-specific dye processes. A humble and loving approach to the transience of organic material and processes embeds the struggle against time and the innate human resistance to changeability.