Carmine Catcher: A show garden exhibited as part of the Radicepura International Garden Festival 2019

Anna Rhodes (Designer), Claire Flatley (Artist)

Research output: Non-textual formDesign

Abstract / Description of output

Carmine Catcher celebrated colour produced from an unusual natural production - an ancient practice of farming cochineal beetles which feed exclusively on the pads of prickly pear. This garden expressed the value of a colour: Carmine Red. The availability of carmine as a commodity contributed to ancestral desires
for bold colour, historically the colour signified power and successfully sought attention. Civilisations have been aware of cochineal’s colourful secret for centuries – it was used in South America from at least the second century BC and became intrinsic to the Aztec and Inca empires. The use of carmine in this garden was intended to stop people in their tracks and reignite our desire for a colour within today’s social media culture.

The garden structure invites the visitor to walk through rows of Prickly Pear, reminiscent of an agricultural grain, beneath hanging fabric inspired by traditional and modern dyeing processes and alongside shallow vessels glazed to represent the valuable ground product and varying shades of dye. Ceramic features bring to mind the absence of water within this arid space and its value as a resource.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Show garden
  • agricultural production
  • carmine

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