Text Garden is based on notes, plants and stamp collecting books from China. Colorings with indigopigment are another starting point, which leads to decolorization from different plants. Indigopigment is produced from plants with indicoture, the species vejde (Isatis Tinctoria) or the species färgpilört (Persicaria Tinctoria). When dying with indigopigment, the blue color develops in the moment the colored material is lifted out of the paint bath and reacts with the oxygen in the air. Yellow green turns blue. To achieve a deep blue color, the dipping process is repeated over and over again.
Text Garden consists of impressions, traces and hints. Cyanotypies-syncopes – autograms. The sheets are double-folded and the backs of the books are stitched together on a sewing machine.
From readings of my own texts written in 129 notebooks during the years inbetween 1975 and 2018, words about friends and friendships have been selected. Dyeing and dipping of sheets in the Chinese books and on loose sheets of Japanese paper Kawasaki, in decoction of plants of different species (infusions, decoctions, tinctures), are made during the same period of time. Textwork and dying evolved into an emerging garden where I use the word text in the understanding of weaving. A weave with alternate warp and weft consisting of stories in words and decolorations of plants and transitions of sunlight. Colors are shifting. A red plant can give a green decolorization. A blue plant is a bronchial coloring. A strong red plant can also be neonyellow dyed on paper after dipping. The texts are hidden, inverted, encrypted. The solar transmissions are experimentally made on different types of paper, the sun is too weak sometimes, too strong sometimes. The motif is a text matrix that acts as a template, and in multiple attempts, the print fails and becomes somewhat unexpected. An image appears and disappears. The parts together form a woven shape, in which a world grows. Like a garden, the body of work/the landscape and its content is not guaranteed to be permanent. It needs to be reviewed and cared for to grow favorably.
No part is correct or perfect. Nor can color resistance be guaranteed.
Plants as well as friends can be short-lived and intense, annual or perennial, invasive, poisonous, starving, parasitic, shimmering, sharp, dangerous, useful, necessary. More and less equal, influenced by circumstances and will.
The stamp collection books and the Text Garden Books are filled with imprints from the dry hot summer of 2018 when big fires rage in Sweden. As the climate reacts. On the uninhabited island of Hansten in Stockholm’s southern archipelago, I find outbloomed dried plants of Vejde (Isatis Tinctoria) full of seeds. I collect seeds to plant and grow next spring and summer, to be able to produce indigopigment for dyeing.
To get to the island of Hansten, located in the outer archipelago outside Dalarö and Ornö, I go with two friends in a small motor boat. The boat travels through algae-blossoming Baltic Sea, through a carpet of cyanobacteria, often called blue-green algae. Cyanobacteria have been around for at least 2.5 billion years, I am told. These microorganisms produce oxygen as a byproduct. The acid enabled an environment where multicellular organisms could survive and this was a start to the development of life on earth. This perspective surrounds us and the boat when we arrive and enter the island of Hansten.
Roland Barthes’s book Le Plaisir du Texte, The Pleasures of the Text, consist of short essais that can be read as a portrait of the reader or as the authors self-portrait. I had these essais in mind when I worked with texts, plants, colors and sun prints for the Text Garden.
An infusion is prepared similar to the preparation of tea. A fresh or dried plant is crushed, boiling or hot water spills across thecrushed plant. After a few minutes, the plant parts are strained. The method is used for flowers, leaves, seeds, fruits.
Decoctions are prepared by crushed plant parts mixed into cold water, the mixture is boiled for 10-15 minutes after which the plant parts are sown. The method is used for the preparation of hard structure plants: bark, branches, roots, nuts.
A tincture is a colored solution of extracts from plants leached with alcohol or other solvents. Indigo is a tincture made from plants with indicoture such as vejde (Isatis Tinctoria) or färgpilört (Persicaria Tinctoria).
Cyanotypes are camera-free transmissions that are made with substances blended to photosensitivity, paper is coated with the mixture, dries in the dark, and the chosen subject is imprinted when illuminated with sunlight. So-called blueprints, direct transfers.
Autograms are sentences that describe themselves by displaying an inventory of their letters and characters.
Syncopes: displacements, interconnections, abbreviations.
The colour is derived by chemical treatment of Tryphent Methane which ensures the uniformity of dispersion and maximum of the colour.