INHABITATION: Earth Pigments Workshop

Earth Pigments Workshop

This public workshop includes a short informational talk and demonstration of methods for incorporating archives and ethnography in environmental artmaking. Participants will learn hands-on techniques for creating watercolors with soil and other organic matter and take home a small pigment pot created during the workshop.

The exhibition is in conjunction with INHABITATION, an exhibition and residency at the Albert and Tina Small Center for Design, Tulane University (October 26–December 15) co-led by AFAS professor Robin McDowell. INHABITATION references a concept that theorist Malcolm Ferdinand writes about in his book Decolonial Ecology, and describes how the participants of this exhibit are attempting to move away from colonial inhabitation wherein land and people are seen as disposable resources. The exhibit showcases a caring engagement with the material byproducts of extraction— such as archival film, chemical pigments, plastic, and expanded polystyrene foam—and invites passerbys to relate and re-imagine our relationships to the built environment, and in turn, one another. Throughout the eight week residency, the exhibit will shift as pieces are worked on, and additional artists contribute.

About the Artists
Kira Akerman
 is an educator and documentary filmmaker, and her forthcoming film, Hollow Tree, is about three young women coming of age in the climate crisis. Her installation derives from the film and alludes to 18th and 19th century colonial projects that resulted in manipulation of Louisiana's landscape. Throughout the course of her residency at the Small Center, other participants featured in Hollow Tree will contribute to the exhibition and workshops. Dr. Robin McDowell is a featured expert in the film and will exhibit her mixed media artworks that envision Black history as a chemical and geological churning. It is a resistant reading of the reports and travelogs of white scientists and a subversion of historically rooted horrors of numeracy. Using soil, clay, silt, rock salt, and carbon byproducts from sites in south Louisiana, these artworks reclaim stories trapped within extracted minerals themselves. Annabelle Pavvy, one of the protagonists in the film, will exhibit woodcuts of an extracted cypress tree.