Pigments

Achiote

Bixa orellana

Palo Brasil

Simira cordifolia

Cudi

Arrabidaea chica

Chokanary

Picramnia sellowii

Huitillo

Renealmia alpinia

Bure

Calathea loeseneri

Amacizo

Erythrina fusca

Chontaduro

Bactris gasipaes

Cúrcuma

Curcuma longa

Llorón

Miconia prasina

Huito

Genipa americana

Extraction and dyeing

Organic pigments extracted from Amazonian plants. Leticia, Colombia, 2007 - 2012.

The extraction of color pigment from the eleven species used in this experiment implies similar processes. It is necessary to macerate, grate or rub the part of the plant that produces the color: leaf, seed, bark, fruit, skin, or tuber—as the case may be— subsequently adding water. Depending on the plant, other steps or treatments such as exposure to heat (fire) or the use of natural elements for the binding or transformation of the color, among them:

Water: dissolves color.

Fire: extracts color by boiling.

Lemon: natural catalyst that lightens color.

White clay: helps create pastel shades when mixed with pigments.

Alum stone: mordant, to bind the color pig- ment to the supports.

Color extraction and dyeing processes. Leticia, Colombia, 2007 - 2013.

The Ritual of Color

Alberto Sierra
Indigenous people associate color with rituals.
In this project the rite has been sorted and recorded. The
ceremony is designed and planned so that together with
images and sounds, it becomes a work of art
that makes evident the importance of the process and
collective work.

This exercise discovers color palettes that did not
exist; among them the simple naming of
color—red or green— is not possible. The colors, their
variations and various nuances, appear thanks
to process and experimentation, trial and
error, the capricious filling and the slow drying, to
the music score and the journey. It is in this fashion that
color constitutes a product closer to science and
simultaneously a work of art.
The work in this book underscores the iteration of the natural
over a surface and the role of chance in the creative process. The
painting—and the actual color—invades the space; but without the
sound of the forest, plants, herbarium, documents, monotypes,
lose its charm, archives, and the moving image, it would because
the power of this work—it needs to be restated—lies in regarding,
lies in regarding the process of creating color as a ritual.

Wonder here is produced by the collective work, rather than by the
work understood as such. We are presented with an archival
artwork or laboratory, which easily oscillates between the
abstract to the expressionist, from the anthropological to the
botanical. Each color is a discovery, an opportunity to learn about a
geographic location. This work synchronizes art with communal
work and botanical knowledge, and in this manner, suggests
an artistic ecology. The color of the jungle istherefore recontextualized and redefined.
Indigenous people associate color with rituals. In this project the rite has been sorted and recorded. The ceremony is designed and planned so that together with images and sounds, it becomes a work of art that makes evident the importance of the process and collective work

This exercise discovers color palettes that did not exist; among them the simple naming of color—red or green— is not possible. The colors, their variations and various nuances, appear thanks to process and experimentation, trial and error, the capricious filling and the slow drying, to the music score and the journey. It is in this fashion that color constitutes a product closer to science and simultaneously a work of art.

The work in this book underscores the iteration of the natural over a surface and the role of chance in the creative process. The painting—and the actual color—invades the space; but without the sound of the forest, plants, herbarium, documents, monotypes, archives, and the moving image, it would lose its charm, because the power of this work—it needs to be restated—lies in regarding, lies in regarding the process of creating color as a ritual.

Wonder here is produced by the collective work, rather than by the work understood as such. We are presented with an archival artwork or laboratory, which easily oscillates between the abstract to the expressionist, from the anthropological to the botanical. Each color is a discovery, an opportunity to learn about a geographic location. This work synchronizes art with communal work and botanical knowledge, and in this manner, suggests an artistic ecology. The color of the jungle is therefore recontextualized and redefined.

Herbaria

Engravings

Paper

Pigments on paper. Leticia, Colombia, 2007 - 2013.

Wallpapers with natural pigments in the drying process. Leticia, Colombia, 2007 - 2012.

Fique

Fique dyeing process. Leticia, Colombia, 2007 - 2013.

Fique dyed with organic pigments in the drying process. Leticia, Colombia, 2007 - 2012.

Acknowledgments

A very special recognition to Kasia and Tomasa; Verónica, Kathy, Jaime, Daniel, Arturo, Monica, Celcida and the rest of this Huitoto family located at Kilometer 11, Leticia.

To all the colleagues, advisers and friends, who offered guidance and contributed with their knowledge:
Jairo Upegui (Travels, herbarium, ideas and company)
Jorge Montoya (Travels, photography and gardening)
Jose Reyes, in Leticia, Amazonas (Guide and driver)
Elvis Peña, in Leticia, Amazonas (Companion while in the Amazon)
David, in the Amazon River (Motorboat driver)
Viviana Palacio (Ideas and thoughts about the project)
Esteban Uribe (video)
Nicolas Wills (Music and sound for the video)
Carlos Tobon (Photography)
Alvaro Cogollo (Botanical Advisor)
Ángela María Restrepo (Monotypes, ideas, and companionship)
Camila Botero (Ideas and thoughts)
Eduardo Arango (Travels and ideas)
Gustavo Cardona (Chemical Engineering advisor)
Diana Escobar (Ideas and thoughts)
Juan Alvaro Echeverri (Information in Leticia)
Luz Dary Henao (Administrative assistance)
Miguel Angel Abadia (Travels and thoughts)
Marta Lopera (Weaver)
Julian Posada (Advisor and companion)
Alberto Sierra (Advisor and companion)
Juan Luis Mejía
Héctor Abad Faciolince
José Ignacio Roca

To my team at the studio:
Daniel Montoya
Margaret Rada
Elisa Echavarría
Lina Rada