Gabriella Solti

portfolio of prints, drawings, notations, artist books and participatory projects

Red + Red = Blue

Study I (Summer), plant-based watercolour on Haini Kozo paper, 39.5″ x 120″, 2021
Study I (Summer), Detail
Study I (Summer), Detail

My art practice is project-based with focused long-term explorations of materials and laborious processes. 

My current work delves into the science of distilling pigment from the natural world that was practiced widely by artists before the advent of synthetic, mass-produced pigments. I collect common plants in local woods, clearings and roadsides and produce brilliant watercolour pigments that defy the traditional colour theory as they interact with each other as I paint with them. The various pigments (anthocyanins, betalains, metal-anthocyanins) change their colour unexpectedly once they mix directly on the paper due to their biochemical properties. Anthocyanin pigments, for example, change colour depending on the pH value of the environment they are exposed to; they can turn into pink, red, blue, purple, black. I use highly absorbent hand made Japanese kozo paper. 

My interest in naturally made watercolour pigments is not motivated by historicization or nostalgia. I aim to develop an embodied knowledge and empirical understanding of materials. As I explore the colour making process, I contemplate larger questions around the more than human world: questions of sustainability, materiality, and what it means to be an artist today.

My recent exhibition at Satellite Project Space from Aug 18-28 related public program more specifically explored the agency of materials. Where do colours come from and how do they interact? 

The exhibition and related program was supported by the London Arts Council through the City of London’s Community Arts Investment Program.

Untitled I, plant based watercolour on Oguni Snowbleached Kozo paper, 39.5″ x 25.5″, 2021
Untitled III, plant-based watercolour on Oguni Snowbleached Kozo paper, 39.5″ x 25.5″,
Exhibition View of Red + Red = Blue, Satellite Project Space, Aug 18-28, 2021

Watercolours on Washi Paper

I make plant-based watercolour to explore the agency of materials. The fully absorbent Washi paper allows the plant-based colours to enter into chemical reactions with each other based on their pH value and produce a myriad of colours. ‘Fire’ was made with hibiscus, red currant, peppermint, and turmeric.

SOLTI-FIRE-2019

Fire, 2019, natural watercolour on Sekishu Banshi Tsuru paper, 21” x 29.25”

SOLTI-Pink Cloud-2019

Pink Cloud, 2019, natural watercolour on Sekishu Banshi Tsuru paper, 29.25″ x 21″

SOLTI-Summer-2019

Summer, 2019,  natural watercolour on Sekishu Banshi Tsuru paper, 21” x 29.25”

SOLTI-Flowering Shrub

Flowering Shrub, 2019, natural watercolour on Sekishu Banshi Tsuru paper, 29.25″ x 21″

SOLTI-Garden I-2019

Garden I, 2019, natural watercolour on Sekishu Banshi Tsuru paper, 21” x 29.25” 

SOLTI-Garden II-2019

Garden II, natural watercolour on Sekishu Banshi Tsuru paper, 21” x 29.25” 

SOLTI-Untitled-2019

Untitled, 2019, natural watercolour on Sekishu Banshi Tsuru paper, 29.25″ x 21″

SOLTI-Untitled 2-2019

Untitled II, 2019, natural watercolour on Kozo paper, 13″ x 18″

Drypoints, Chine-collé, silkscreen prints

drypoint-1

Drypoint and Chine-collé on Japanese tissue paper, 3.5″ x 3.5″ (image size)

drypoint-3

Drypoint and Chine-collé, 4.375″ x 3″ (image size)

drypoint-4-1

Drypoint and Chine-collé, 4.375″ x 3″ (image size)

drypoint-5

Drypoint, 4.375″ x 3″ (image size)

Print Garden 2

Silskscreen prints, 14″ x 11″ each

 

 

Cyanotypes

London's Flora I

London’s Flora I: Purple-headed Sneezeweed, Lance-leaved Goldenrod, Common Milkweed, 2018, Cyanotype on hand-coated Canva Paper, 9” x 12”

Untitled 1

Untitled, 2018, Cyanotype on hand-coated Canva Paper, 9” x 12”

Goat's Beard

Aruncus dioicus (Goatsbeard), 2018, Cyanotype on hand-coated Watercolour Paper, 29.5” x 22”

Goats beard

Tragopogon porrifolius, 2018, Cyanotype on hand-coated Bockingford Paper, 19.75” x 14.75”

False Solomon's Seal

Maianthemum racemosum (False Solomon’s Seal), 2018, Cyanotype on hand-coated Watercolour Paper, 9” x 12”

wild red raspberry

Rubus idaeus  (Wild Red Raspberry), 2018, Cyanotype on hand-coated BFK Rives Paper, 17” x 13”

Brown-eyed Susan

Rudbeckia triloba  (Brown-eyed Susan), 2018, Cyanotype on hand-coated Paper, 17.75” x 11”

Canada Goldenrod

Solidago canadensis (Canada Goldenrod), 2018, Cyanotype on hand-coated Watercolour Paper, 9” x 12”

Bladder Campion and others

Silene vulgaria (Bladder Campion), Linaria vulgaris (Butter and Eggs), and a grass, 2018, Cyanotype on hand-coated Watercolour Paper, 12” x 7.38”

Saint John's Wort 2

Hypericum perforatum (Common Saint John’s Wort), 2018, Cyanotype on hand-coated Watercolour Paper, 12” x 7.38”

Red Clover  Fleabane

Left: Trifolium pratense (Red Clover), 2018, Cyanotype on machine coated paper, 7” x 5”

Right: Erigeron annuus (Annual Fleabane), 2018, Cyanotype on machine coated paper, 7” x 5”

Burdock   Chicory

Left: Arcticum minus (Common Burdock), 2018, Cyanotype on machine coated paper, 5” x 3.5”

Right: Cichorum intybus (Common Chicory), 2018, Cyanotype on machine coated paper, 5” x 3.5”

Jewelweed  Deadly Nightshade

Left: Impatiens capensis  (Jewelweed), 2018, Cyanotype on hand-coated Watercolour Paper, 9” x 12”

Right: Atropa belladonna (Deadly Nightshade), 2018, Cyanotype on machine coated paper, 5” x 3.5”