Developed for KONTEJNER’s Touch Me festival, E.A. 1/1 S.V.’s The Lilies Series is a pop-up store based on Pierre-Joseph Redouté’s botanical drawings published in Les Liliacées between 1802 and 1816. Here, Redouté’s flower drawings have been translated into phantasmagorical textile embroidery. Some of them have mutated into insects while others have been associated with human sex organs – thus, the newly created embroideries take an interspecies form merging flora, fauna, and the human world.
One of the products in The Lilies Series (The Lilies T-shirt, ed. 13) has had a specific design process, different from the rest of the collection. To create it, White Lily (Lilium candidum) flowers were infused with various organic and mineral solutions such as cochineal insect extract, copper (II) sulphate, and iron (II) sulphate. The infused flowers have been processed into new pigments, which are hybrids between organic dyes and mineral particles that have oxidized inside these plants. These have been permanently applied to a T-shirt by using a mixture of transparent silicone that protects the wearer of the garment from getting these new particles into their bloodstream.
Some garments in this collection can be read as herbals in a curiosity cabinet, while others communicate through the newly made pigment as a carrier of historical conflict and symbolic mutation – reminding us how the dyes have been divided into two categories, those of an organic origin and those of a mineral one. The organic ones (plant and animal dyes) have been used by amateur painters in Western painting, while professional painters used mineral pigments to make their paintings last longer.
Co-production: KONTEJNER I bureau of contemporary art praxis