LOS COLORES DE DOLORES | 2023
Los Colores de Dolores is a collaborative project between Felipe Shibuya and Marisa Bernotti. Its primary goal is to translate the colors of Dolores city's landscape in Uruguay into an installation. This installation seeks to discuss how colors can convey messages about the ecology, geography, culture, histories, and many other facets of the location.
In this project, the artists embarked on a journey where science and art walked side by side, each supporting the other. From a scientific perspective, Felipe and Marisa sought to identify the plant species blooming in Dolores during the winter and to understand the biological interactions reflected in these plants' colors. They also attempted to trace how the life stories of these species intertwined with migration events, colonization, and geographic expansions. Through data collection, it was possible to map the distribution of species and their colors across the city's landscape and see if there were any patterns in this distribution. Key species identified during this survey process include the Ombú (Phytolacca dioica), native to the pampas of southern South America and symbolic of this biome, and the Canary Palm (Phoenix canariensis) introduced during colonization by the Spaniards from the Canary Islands. On the artistic front, Felipe and Marisa chose to work with natural pigments extracted from each plant, using them to dye materials for an aesthetic presentation to the Dolores community. Among the selected materials were raw wool, locally produced in the Dolores region, and papers that comprise a children's book, emphasizing the importance of colors in nature.
As part of their creative process, Felipe and Marisa encouraged Dolores' inhabitants to collaborate during the color-seeking process. Some local artists brought plant species with colors meaningful to them, and these plants became part of the sample collection. These collaborations were crucial in visualizing the colors, for the artists believed that no one understood the colors of their land better than the community itself. This also supported the project in terms of dissemination since one of the pillars of the collaboration between the artists in this merger of art and science is to make information accessible to the public, breaking down the barriers once set by fields that appeared to be distinct.
As a final outcome, Felipe and Marisa showcased each step of the process (landscape mapping, plant sampling and collection, pigment extraction, and dyeing of wool and papers) to demonstrate to the Dolores community that their land is rich in colors and messages, even when the landscape appears dormant in winter. When we pause to observe these colors, we can connect better with nature, understanding that we are part of it and only then can we preserve it.
2023 · Los Colores de Dolores
Centro Cultural Nacional de Dolores, Dolores, Uruguay