In the Composiciones Acuáticas (2019) series, Monterroso covers the paper with a fabric soaked in a blue Mayan plant dye, indigofera guatemalensis. This technique allows the pigment to stain the paper naturally, creating geometric and marbled forms that are unique to each work.
This dye is made by combining a clay mineral, palygorskite, with the pigment from the native Central and South American indigo plant, indigofera suffructiosa. Since 300AD, Mayans have used the dye to decorate their bodies as part of the ritual to Chaac, the rain deity. The indigofera suffructiosa plant was also cultivated and exported by Spanish colonists. Deemed to be sacred because of its colour, the dye became a valuable commodity that played a role in the transatlantic trade routes that violently shaped the 16th century global landscape.
Direct from artist studio
Sandra Monterroso : Dyed in the Wool. Cecilia Brunson Projects, London. 19 June - 30 August 2020.