Photos © Heidi Gustafson
There’s quite a bit more to ochre than the deep, golden hue squeezed out of a tube of paint. “Color is tied to matter, as much as light,” Heidi Gustafson told Colossal in a recent interview. “In fact, in the ochres and Earth pigments, it tends to be the metal elements (iron, copper, lead, etc.) that are responsible for our color experience.”
The Washington-based artist and founder of the Early Futures Ochre Archive (previously) marvels at the diverse hues of naturally-occurring minerals beneath our feet. In her new Book of Earth, published by Abrams, she takes us on a journey through rare pigments and their landscapes in a celebration of what she describes as the “behavior, capacities, being-ness, language, needs, and concerns” of the material.