Chemistry at CASM

Thursday, 6 September 2018


Chemistry and art intertwine in Helen Coleman’s fascinating exhibition Windfall | Chemistry of the Dye Pot currently featured at Contemporary Art Spaces Mandurah (CASM).

Helen is a mixed media artist presently undertaking a two-year residency at Contemporary Art Spaces Mandurah, where she combines her background in botany and chemistry with a passion for art, to explore the eco-dye potential of local native plants.

Helen has spent the last 12 months studying the endemic plants of Falcon, a coastal suburb south of Mandurah were she has lived for over 20 years.

This manmade island, separated from the mainland on all sides by estuary and ocean, offers a rich and varied flora in a range of ecosystems, from coastal beaches to eucalypt forest and estuarine tidal flats.

Over 30 species of plants from these diverse habitats were tested in her CASM studio, using traditional and contemporary techniques. The result is a stunning range of natural dye colours, eco-prints, pigments, alcohol inks and paints. Windfall | Chemistry of the Dye Pot is the culmination of her residency at CASM - a process exhibition where Helen shares the results of her studies and the techniques used in her experiments.

Whether you love science, nature or art, this exhibition offers a unique and inspiring perspective into the beauty and biodiversity of this region. Another feature of the exhibition is outside CASM, where Helen has worked with the City of Mandurah to develop the CASM Cultural Garden.

This garden contains 40 species of local native plants that have traditional significance to the Noongar people, and contemporary uses as dyes, textiles or bushfoods.

Helen’s guided tour of the garden during her artist talk on 13 October will give visitors a chance to learn about the fascinating uses and history of our region’s flora.

CASM can be found at 63 Ormsby tce Mandurah. Exhibition details at www.artspacesmandurah.com.au