Falcon artist’s exhibition explores the eco-dye potential of local native plants

Falcon mixed media artist Helen Coleman.
Falcon mixed media artist Helen Coleman.

FALCON mixed media artist Helen Coleman’s exhibition Windfall opened on Friday.

Coleman is undertaking a two-year residency at Contemporary Art Spaces Mandurah (CASM) – where she combines her background in botany and chemistry with a passion for art – to explore the eco-dye potential of local native plants.

She has spent the past 12 months studying the endemic plants of Falcon where she has lived for more than 20 years, surrounded by a rich and varied flora in a range of ecosystems from beaches to eucalypt forest and tidal flats.

More than 30 species of plants 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 is the culmination of her CASM residency, a process exhibition where she shares the results of her studies and the techniques used in her experiments.

The exhibition runs until November 4.

Another feature of the exhibition is outside CASM where Colman has worked with the City of Mandurah to develop the CASM Cultural Garden.

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

Her guided tour of the garden during her artist’s talk on Sunday at 2pm will give visitors a chance to learn about the use and history of the region’s flora.