CASM: Mandurah creative highlights region’s diverse flora in exhibition

Creating: Helen Coleman in Studio B at the Contemporary Art Space in Mandurah. Photo: Roz D'Raine.
Creating: Helen Coleman in Studio B at the Contemporary Art Space in Mandurah. Photo: Roz D'Raine.

A Falcon creative has intertwined chemistry and art in a unique exhibition highlighting the region's diverse flora and ecosystem. 

Helen Coleman’s Windfall – Chemistry of the Dye Pot was inspired by her background in botany, and chemistry, and her passion to explore the eco-dye potential of local native plants.

Ms Coleman, who is a mixed media artist undertaking a two-year residency at Contemporary Art Spaces Mandurah (CASM), has spent the last 12 months studying the endemic plants of Falcon, her home of more than 20 years.

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This man-made 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 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.

The exhibition is the culmination of her residency at CASM and a chance for Ms Coleman to share 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 the Peel region. 

Another feature of the exhibition is outside CASM, where Ms Coleman 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.

Ms Coleman will conduct a guided tour of the garden during her artist talk on October 13, allowing visitors to learn about the fascinating uses and history of the region’s flora.

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