Helen Roberts describes each of her prints as a botanical snapshot of a specific time and place. In April 2018 she embarked on a year of experimenting with eco printing techniques with the aim of at least one eco printing session per week and hoping to capture the changes in the plants throughout the year in print.
Roberts became interested in botanical printing in 2017 and after initial experiments and research took an online course with Nicola Brown, an accomplished textile artist, felt maker and eco printer.
The unique prints in this show are made without any ink. All the colour comes from fresh botanical material - leaves, flowers, seeds and bark - and natural plant dyes, such as madder and weld. The eco printing process combines contact printing, heating and natural dyeing, usually all at the same time.
Helen gathered most of the plant material from the hedgerows on her daily walks. There is a degree of alchemy in the process of boiling the dye pot and each "bundle" reveals how specific leaves and dyes have interacted. Each eco print is unique. Just as plants change over time, these prints may well also change in colour and eventually fade leaving a ghostly mark of what they once were.
This year of experiments has allowed Helen to make a stunning body of work that shows snapshots from her wanderings in nature and encourages the viewer to slow down and reconnect with the natural world.
This exhibition runs in the members gallery at Seacourt until 1st June 2019.
You can follow Helen’s eco printing journey on Instagram @hedgerowprints114