My recent work has involved homemade pigments as an attempt to relate back to primitive painting and its connection with local and seasonal materials. Many of these materials relate directly to culinary traditions. This work is made using cuttlefish ink, or the dyestuff called sepia, extracted from a gland of diverse cephlopods, including the order Seplida. This material had been used as a writing materials since ancient Greece, and has been a staple food source for centuries. The point of the drawings is to allow the nature of the ink, diluted with just water, to determine a natural, organic pattern, in many ways absent of human intervention. They represent the both symbolic and literal ebb and flow of life, the consumption and resurrection of living material, almost as blueprints of the animal itself.
My work in this exhibit consists of three groups of drawings using natural homemade inks. The main group of paintings, called “Tide,” are made using only cuttlefish ink, or nero di seppia on grey Canson paper. The ink is allowed to follow it’s natural course of saturation and flux until it settles in patterns to dry. It is allowed to determine its own composition, and despite a meticulous process, the hand of the artist seems absent. This series was completed specifically for Palazzo della Corgna in Città della Pieve, as it houses the Natural History Museum, and due to the long history of the area surrounding Lago di Trasimeno. They represent the both symbolic and literal ebb and flow of life, the consumption and resurrection of living material, as blueprints of life itself.
Ink may be extracted from a numer of cephalopods, and may vary in color
from black to bluish to brown.
Sepia is from the Greek name of the cuttlefish, and refers to its ink, tending towards brown.
The gland is heart shaped
The ink is dense, dark, opaque like a void
Used as a smoke screen for evading pretators
It is made of mucus and melanin.
It loves water, and to travel.
A blanket, it is a safe place to hide.