I’ve always been sensitive to animal’s fate. I believe they have empathy and feelings comparable to humans so as species we are able to live in greater harmony. At some point I started to get more interested in ethology – study that is focused on animals’ behaviours in their natural environment. Slowly gaining more consciousness about place we put animals in, I felt that humans should finally abandon anthropocentric approach and see that Earth is not only our home. I’m a textile designer and textiles are something that accompany us everywhere. They are also element that creates our comfort zone. I decided to combine this ‘comfort’ aspect with a statement: Stop, hold on, you are part of nature, but you are only one of many equally important chain links which build our environment, so start to be aware of it.
As this statement I prepared five projects dedicated for jacquard textiles. The entire collection of textile projects has one main theme – it is a single leaf of sago palm which is one of the most popular plants on Micronesias’ islands. Each project is presented in four different colour palettes. These colour versions are the most important part of my project. As an inspiration I took different ways in which every living creature sees. Each species see specific frequencies of wavelengths responsible for colour vision and in between these species those frequencies have different ranges. Many organisms like bees or crustacean see ultraviolet waves and others like snakes see infrared waves. None of them can a human see. Sense of sight is the one that is mainly responsible for construction of the reality we live in so I decided that each of the colour palettes will relate to different range of colour vision. Unfortunately, we know only what animals see but we can’t say how exactly the image looks like after being processed by their brains. That’s why each of the projects’ colour versions is based on specific example.
First colour palette is in ultraviolet. It is inspired by photos of plants especially flowers taken using type of photography called ultraviolet – induced visible fluorescence. It shows normally unseen glow of plants that might be similar to what animals sensitive to ultraviolet waves see.
Second palette is in infrared. Kodak used to produce military film called Kodak Aerochrome Color which was sensitive to infrared waves. Photos taken using it had changed colours – greens turned into reds and blues into greys and black. Couple years ago, photographer Richard Mosse captured bloody conflict in Democratic Republic of Congo using Kodak Aerochrome. The effect was psychedelic but also controversial because of its aesthetics in a view of civil war. His photos became my inspiration which on one hand relates to mentioned colour ranges and on the other to people’s destructive impact on our planet.
Third palette is achromatic. It is inspired by the Oliver Sacks description of Pingelap island placed in his book ‘The island of the colorblind’. Micronesia’s island is inhabited by quite large group of people who have achromatopsy – they are affected by total colorblindness. People with achromatopsy don’t miss anything, in fact they are more sensitive to shapes, textures and perspective. Many animals don’t see colours too, they just don’t need it.
The last colour palette I called ‘human’ palette. It were supposed to reflect usual human colour vision. I decided to use colours of ‘pure spiritual’ theme – one of Heimtextils’ trends for season 20/21. It relates to renewed bund with nature and focuses on raw, pure and organic materials. Colours of this theme are greens, beiges and colours of earth.
Important part of ‘Colour Vision of the Future’ project is the context I decided to put it in. Human - centered design is a very common approach especially among large corporations. It puts human as a subject and benchmark of every design process. I would like to place my statement textiles as decorative panels and upholsteries in the office spaces of such corporations in order to sensibilise their employees for the problem that anthropocentric thinking brings to the entire natural environment.