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#colors#Earth#Heidi Gustafson#nature#pigment

Heidi Gustafson’s ‘Book of Earth’ Embarks on a Visual Voyage Through the World of Natural Pigments

June 15, 2023

Kate Mothes

A collection of natural Earth pigments arranged in small dishes.

All photos © Heidi Gustafson unless noted, courtesy of Abrams, shared with permission

There’s quite a bit more to ochre than the deep, golden hue squeezed out of a tube of paint. “Color is tied to matter, as much as light,” Heidi Gustafson told Colossal in a recent interview. “In fact, in the ochres and Earth pigments, it tends to be the metal elements (iron, copper, lead, etc.) that are responsible for our color experience.”

The Washington-based artist and founder of the Early Futures Ochre Archive (previously) marvels at the diverse hues of naturally-occurring minerals beneath our feet. In her new Book of Earth, published by Abrams, she takes us on a journey through rare pigments and their landscapes in a celebration of what she describes as the “behavior, capacities, being-ness, language, needs, and concerns” of the material.

Each chapter of Book of Earth is dedicated to an aspect of Gustafson’s archive, which contains more than 600 samples. The volume elucidates the world of natural color, challenging our perceptions of terrain and the inanimate world, and includes practical advice and techniques for creating your own pigments. Find your copy on Bookshop.

A dry, desert landscape featuring naturally occurring ochres.

Photo by Chiara Zonca

A collection of natural Earth pigments arranged in small dishes.

A spread from the 'Book of Earth', with a page titled "What is ochre?" and a photograph of vials of different colors of ochre.

A landscape featuring saturated hues of different colored ochres.

Photo by Sheena Callage

The cover of 'Book of Earth.' Text also reads "A guide to ochre, pigment, and raw color."

#colors#Earth#Heidi Gustafson#nature#pigment

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