Monday, February 02, 2015

Cultural Red Exhibit Santa Fe

Quest For Red © Sabrina Zarco

Cochineal dye was used by the Aztec and Maya peoples of Central and North America for everything from coloring clothing, healing ailments, and for personal adornment. The cochineal is found on the nopal or prickly pear cactus pads inside match head-sized white fuzz balls. By the 14th century, the Incas and Aztecs both had whole agricultural systems based on cochineal and apparently valued the dye as much as gold. The insects were harvested and traded. The insects were collected, dried and crushed releasing the intense red color dye.

This is one of three works of mine that have been accepted into the exhibit at the Santa fe Capitol Rotunda Gallery. The gallery opening for those in New Mexico or visiting will be on Friday, April 17, 2015 from 5-7pm. The exhibit will be up from April to August 2015.

I created a large Cochineal bug and added the white fuzz balls with paint and beads on the nopal pads. String needles on the pads hurt less when handling the work. As always it wouldn't be my work without buttons hand painted and lots of hand stitches. I will share the other two works and their stories later. 

Detail Quest For Red.

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