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Heidi Gustafson’s ‘Book of Earth’ Embarks on a Visual Voyage Through the World of Natural Pigments
June 15, 2023
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.
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