Monday, 22 March 2021

Printing With The Planet (in Progress)




above: paper made from the grass in this landscape 



above: paper made from seaweed from this landscape 






seagrass caught in recycled paper 



above left: paper made from 100% seaweed;  right: paper made from seaweed mixed with banana leaf paper pulp meets batik, natural dyes on cotton. 


above: silkscreen print made with seaweed base and natural dyes on paper 

above: silkscreen printing base made from seaweed


The first two weeks of March I was invited by Terraform, artist-in-residence program on Samseo island (Denmark).

As this residency is focussing on editions, printing and a  a sci-fi approach on starting from scratch on an island. I tried to figure out a way to reinvent colours and inks for printing as well as the paper to print on:  made from local natural weeds. 

I learn that the fjords on the island were a place where Vikings fought against any other potential population and settled about 9th Century. Now pollution is a fact here: hidden for the eye literally buried under the ground and poured into the sea... and along with that, a disappearing sea life, which is also not visible from this point of view. I am a stranger here, in a new assembled family the landscape looks like nothing ever changed.

I think of older cultures living along the water in other places, who came up with papyrus and insanely beautiful colours made from natural sources for writing materials. I don't know if Vikings used writing supplies other than stone and parchment.  And if they did, would their paper look like this then? 

If this is the future, 

where the internet broke down, 

and paper is no longer produced, 

will we use the grass we find? 

...Print on what is washed ashore: 

dead bodies of seaweed 

once dancing in the waves, 

nursing harbor 

for premature shells. 

Seaweed also happens to be a perfect natural base for silk screen printing. It smells like death and rolls smoothly over the screen. The colour is golden sepia. Mixed with oak gal ink and madder root, the colours range from black, brown to red. 

Thanks to Terraform: Hannah, Johan,  Caspar and Tea for inviting me and hopefully many others in the future to take part in this great experiment. 

Also many thanks to Ulla Enevoldsen for introducing us residents: Chris Shields, Wilfred Wagner & me to the craft of paper making.