Where Oaks are Common

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Where Oaks are Common is my latest walking and eco printing project.  This summer I will be walking the Derwent Valley Heritage Way, a 55 Mile route that starts at Ladybower in the north of the county finishing at Shardlow in the south of Derbyshire.

Along the way, I’ll be collecting the changing flora to make inks and dyes, extracting colours that will be used to dye cotton and silk fabric.  This reflects the heritage of the Derwent Valley Mills and the industrial importance of the area.

I’ll be using the same water that Arkwright and Strutt used to power their mills to eco print and dye onto the fabrics that these industrialists pioneered production of.  I can easily source this from the local markets in Derby and Nottingham at a greatly reduced price compared to its original production costs.

I also want to consider the female perspective of being outdoors in a very patriarchal landscape, what did the women who did a lot of the hard work have to cope with?  My life is of art and personal exploration while theirs was one of toil.  I want to include my thoughts and research in the final pieces of artwork, along with dialogue created from conversations along the route.

My challenge will be to find an appropriate exhibition space for the work and funding to cover my time, materials and costs.

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