23.2 – 8.5 2021

Gal Leshem:Looking for Rubia Tinctorum

3–5 Swallow St

Gal Leshem:Looking for Rubia Tinctorum

23.02 – 08.05.2021



Monday to Saturday

10:00 am – 5:30 pm


3–5 Swallow St

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.



Gal Leshem

B. Israel 1988

gal portrait

B. Israel 1988


Gal Leshem is a London-based artist with a socially engaged practice. Leshem’s work explores history and collective memory within the construction of local identities. Leshem’s artistic output is research-led, and incorporates textile, print media and audio visual works. She explores the significance of history and collective memory and the construction of national and cultural identities.

Leshem was born in Israel in 1988. She studied at Goldsmiths University, and is currently undertaking her MA in Fine Art Media at the Slade School of Art. Her work has been exhibited in numerous group shows across Europe, including Thought Threads at San Mei Gallery, The Subversive Stitch at TJ Boulting and at Bloomberg New Contemporaries, Block 336, 2018. In 2017 Leshem was artist in residence at Tate Modern and Tate Britain School Workshop Programme. In 2017-18 she was part of Up Projects’ Constellations, a research and development programme for artists working in community contexts.

Leshem lives and works in London.

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