Walter G ‘dirty indigo’

Walter G (Lauren Bennett and Genevieve Fennel)
Weaving the blues away Woven cube ottoman 100% cotton niwar (upholsterers webbing), plywood frame, foam seat, March 2012
Shade of blues Niwar umbrella Vintage umbrella with wooden pole, 100% cotton upholsters webbing and fabric, July 2012
Sitting on top of the blues Upholstered chair Vintage teak chair, 100% cotton fabric mud printed and dyed in indigo, July 2012
Bottled blues Canvas shade with flask Vintage tin canister, 100% cotton canvas shade mud printed and dyed in indigo, November 2011

What inspired these works: The “dirty indigo” body of work is deeply inspired by the 5 month work sojourn that we spent in Sanganer, India during 2011. Instantly taken by the age old resist dye printing method of dabu and indigo, our journey began. We were initially bewildered by the sense of nostalgia that this effect aroused in us. It rawness, its imperfections, its deep and oceanic flow of dirty blues was the Australia that we grew up with in a fabric. This technique, we knew, was just the medium to communicate the Indian heritage of pattern and textile in everyday life to the Australian market! Its aims: To educate and reignite an appreciation of hand made, pattern, colour and tradition in the Western market, whilst provoking an engagement of the similarities between our two very different cultures. How it was made and by whom: Shankar and his father Om Ji hand print with dabu, dye with natural indigo, harda and kashish and hand wash to create the complete “dirty indigo” range of textiles. They live in Sanganer in the same house and have been printing and dying all their lives – their blood line is completely blue!

So where does ‘dirty indigo’ come from?

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