Towards the end of 2022 Ryde Arts in collaboration with Denman Gould carried out a project in Ryde. The Blueprint Project used natural resources from the local area to create natural pigments. The process allowed an exploration of place and the elements that make it.
The first stage of this project saw a workshop in Appley Park, where Oak galls were used to create an ancient ink. Participants then used the ink to create artworks inspired by the very trees that bore it. This ink has properties that allow it to endure through centuries and can be found in the Doomsday Book.
As part of the Blueprint Project geologist Martin Dunt accompanied Eleanor Goulding and Amanda Wallwork on a walk along the Ryde coast. During the walk the group explored the Geology of Ryde. In the geological past the Isle of Wight had a more tropical climate and evidence of this can be seen through the layers of clay exposed along this shore.
The different layers of clay and earth provide a huge array of colours from which natural pigments can be made. These can be processed and used to create paints that represent this aspect of Ryde’s history.
The second set of workshops in the Blueprint Project looked at creating pigments from the clays collected from the beaches around Ryde. Eleanor from Denman Gould took participants through the process of extracting colour from the collected samples. These pigments were used to create paints which were in turn used for art pieces depicting the area.
Meanwhile special guest Amanda Wallwork showed the process of using the clays in their raw form to form beautiful spheres which displayed their various properties beautifully.
This series of workshops took place at Ryde Library.
As The Blueprint Project came to a close, an event took place to facilitate the handing over of the work created during the project to Ryde Town Council. Hosted at Department in Ryde the event saw Eleanor alongside Abi Wheeler of Ryde Arts present the work to a fascinated audience.
The project and work was exhibited within the space and the event was attended by members of the community, council and other fantastic organisations on the Island such as Artecology.
The Blueprint Project was commissioned by Ryde Arts, facilitated by Denman Gould and funded by Arts Council England.