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Earth Pigments

Canterbury pigments provided me with a method of discovering more about the topography, landscape and history of an area that I had only previously known as a visitor.

Locally-found pigments obviously speak about place, however, what they show is not so immediately apparent to the casual observer. Most of the colours are underground and only revealed by the natural forces, erosion or when roadworks cut through the land’s surface.

While the artworks speak about place, they also demonstrate the distinctive qualities of these local pigments. Natural earth pigments, because they are unrefined, make a paint that is full of texture and colour variation which is unique to the place of origin. The colours within a rock emerge during the grinding process, yielding a colour that has a brilliance and a character all of its own.

In researching the topography and history of the Canterbury landscape, I was intrigued by the imagery suggested by lines imposed on land.  This is shown concretely, as roads, railways, fence lines, shelter belts, drains, canals.  It is shown abstractly as partition lines drawn up on a map and the blocks and grids denoting divisions or boundaries of town or country. This imagery became the basis for the development of my earth pigment paintings.

All images copyright © Celia Wilson 2004-2010,

all rights reserved; may not be reproduced without prior permission.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. 11 May, 2014 5:35 pm

    Thanks so much for following my art site and postcard blog, Celia! Your pigment work is beautiful and fascinating.

    • 12 May, 2014 8:52 am

      Thanks for your kind comments, Allison! I will send you a postcard. It’s a great idea to collect them and I was delighted to discover your site. Made me dig out my old postcards that I had collected from art galleries when at school.

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