PANTONE ALSACE / Reading the Landscape (installation, 2023)

Title: Pantone Alsace (Reading the Landscape); year: 2023; materials: organic fibers dyed with local plant pigments; dimensions: 375cm x 300cm; collaborative work with the pickers and collectors.

The work Pantone Alsace (Reading the Landscape) is emerging from a scanned environment. It takes the form of a Pantone colour chart to present a local chromatic range. After several walks to collect plants and fungi in the Alsace region, pigments were extracted to dye the wool which was then woven to obtain a work that bears witness to the “colourful” richness of the regional landscape, offering us a new way of looking at the world.

“We are contaminated by our encounters; they change who we are as we make way for others. As contamination changes world-making projects, mutual worlds – and new directions – may emerge.”
Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing, The Mushroom at the End of the World

Pantone Alsace (Reading the Landscape) – installation shot @ la Kunsthalle Mulhouse
Textile work, manually dyed fibers and manually woven work, 375cm x 300cm (photo JJ.Delattre)

The story Maes writes is that of a living world in constant transformation. This is the principle she employs in the elaboration of her own works, some of which are entirely based on phenomena related to evolutive processes. They ferment, grow, reproduce, decompose, and it is not unusual to come across bacterial and microbial cultures in aquariums within her exhibitions. In a way, non-human living organisms are her valued partners, with whom she engages in multiple and renewed collaborations. But also ‘regular humans’ became creative partners at one or another phase of the artworks, such as the plant pickers and collectors and the scientists from the Université de Strasbourg.

Hunting and collecting in the Vosges, Alsace …