Twilight Blossom Reel / Evening Chicago Landscapes
Images taken by Stephany Latham, 2011
Winter dyeing with black-eyed Susans.
Alkanet Root Dye, Alkanna Tinctoria
The alkanet dye plant was collected in the neighborhood of Ravenswood in Chicago, Illinois. This entire plant can be used to extract different colors, however, I used the roots to create this dark grey scale purple. Also, alkanet is a traditional Scottish dye plant used to make the famous plaid tartans that symbolizes and differentiates each historical clan (families) that lived in Scotland for generations.
For each dye plant that I find in Chicago, I uncover more cultural truths about how this city became uniquely rich in biodiversity and resilient with its citizenry.
I recently started a new blog entitled, the Urban Prairie Dye Project, that capitalizes off of my thesis research that I completed this past year -linking cultures to dye plants I collect in Chicago and use them in my artistic and art therapy practice. Only this blog also lets other artists and natural dyers submit work to the page and share their stories. Feel free to check it out and submit your work.