From Aristotele to present scientists and artists have been trying to describe and organize the colour spectrum visible to the human eye into comprehensible systems. However the experience of colour is a personal journey and this workshop is exploring the sensorial, cultural and historical aspects of colour. Using extracts from Chroma; a book on colour by artist Derek Jarman as a starting point, each participant was assigned a colour to research; blue, white, red, purple, green, brown, yellow and orange. The workshop resulted in a joint collage; a celebration of the collective act of mark making and the love for colour.
The cacti play an essential role in local ecosystems, as water reservoirs that many animals depend on, whilst also doubling as food. There are several samples of Opuntia in the succulent collection of Jardim Botanico, a cacti which is not only delicious and healthy, recent research show that the plant can effectively purify contaminated water. Meanwhile the cacti is extremely sensitive to habitat loss and over harvesting. Today a third of all cactus species are endangered, illegal trade being a contributing factor.
A great variety of flowers exist within the cacti family- they come in red, yellow, orange, purple, pink, white and more. The flowers attract pollinators such as bees, moths, bats, and other animals. Some cacti flower frequently with large multi-coloured spectacular flowers. Other cacti such as Epiphyllum oxypetalum Queen of the night, flower only for a few hours one night per year.
The artistic depiction of plants has an ancient history and was originally deployed as a means of classification. Historically botanical drawing had a massive impact on the western scientific progress. During the colonial time the naturalists who joined the military expeditions were either artists themselves or brought artists to record the findings. Flattened and dried specimen fade with time, but the colours remain in the aquarelle drawings. In this workshop the participants combined observation, intuition and imagination, to understand the life and structure of the cacti in new ways.
The workshop was held in the succulent collection of Jardim Botanico do Porto in collaboration with the Illustration School.
Mask making with Embrera Chamí
Emma Löfström and Irene Fuga took part in Residencia en la Tierra's residency program Lenguajes en la Tierra. As part of the residencywe held a mask making workshop with the children of the Embrera Chamí community in Puerto Samaria, Quindio. As part of the ‘Super Hero from the Future’ workshop we asked the children to envision the future, what they would like to change, and think of a ‘super power’ they would like to possess to make these changes happen. The outcome was some fantastic and thoughtful masks.
A drawing workshop held in collaboration with Irene Fuga at FLORA ars+natura, Bogotá 2014. Interested in the participatory aspects of drawing and reflecting upon the primitive need of mark making, Fuga+Löfström turned the auditorium at FLORA ars+natura into a drawing class session. Questioning meanings of display and art, personal history and memory, Fuga+Löfström asked the participants to bring a personal item of affective value (object, garbage, family photograph, piece of clothing, broken camera, etc) to be explored through drawing during the workshop. Investigating the possibilities of collaborating with diverse groups of people especially brought together for this session, the artists are interested in empowering the collaborators to make decisions and to take aesthetic action.
Photos: Gonzalo Angarita, FLORA ars+natura, 2014
Mythical creatures of past and future
In this workshop the participants were shown how to blend drawing with collage techniques, and encouraged to experiment and explore new ways of using their imagination. Playing with ideas of future ecosystems, and the possibilities of biotechnology, the participants were asked to invent new life-forms. Animals were the muses for the very first human art and mark-making, and have since frequented myths, legends, fantasies and fiction. Looking at animals in a time of extinctions and transformations, this workshop explored a diversity of new living creatures, mixing drawing with photos, textbook illustrations and naturalists’' discoveries.
In collaboration with Irene Fuga (Fuga+Löfström) led the project ‘Dis Play’, a site-specific installation at Lugar a Dudas (Cali, Colombia). The gallery space at Lugar a Dudas was turned into a drawing class session. Using the Cattleya trianae plant as the object/subject matter for the workshop, Fuga+Löfström led a week long drawing class where the public was invited and taught how to draw the orchid in different ways; using different types of media and techniques, exploring possible ways of representing it. Fuga+Löfström used the drawing medium as a way to create a visual conversation, investigating the plant's anatomy and curious sexual habits as a a starting point to encourage the participators to tell their personal stories. Examining what it means to draw today, in an age of constant distraction, the project is focusing on the act of mark making as one of the most basic forms of communication.