Gal Leshem: Looking for Rubia Tinctorum

23rd Feb 2021 - 1st May 2021

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Huxley-Parlour are pleased to be hosting an installation by Gal Leshem, whose practice engages with the history and politics of colour in the Middle East. Utilising video, textile and print, Leshem explores the role of local folklore and material culture in the creation of identity, belonging and orientation. The artist’s search for a particular red plant, Rubia Tinctorum, follows her own personal journey of migration.

The title of the exhibition refers to the artist’s ongoing search for a particular red plant, used historically for dye. Rubia Tinctorum, also known as Madder, originated in the Levant and was used by the British Empire as the main dye for the British redcoats. By investigating the dissemination of dyes along Colonial and Imperial trade routes, Leshem states her work ‘uncovers the Othering of certain groups through colour’. Leshem’s video-based work is a guided search for red fabric in the paintings of the National Gallery. It directly relates to the large- scale textile pieces on display that are made from hand dyed cloth, following traditional dying recipes.

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