Sonia Levy

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Fragments of real whale bones are charred in order to create a  black pigment.

 

The tinting material is use for a series of works on paper: 'drawings' made by frottage using the pigment of charred whale bone on the surface of whale vertebrae.

 

The frottages are made by carefully pressing paper onto the surface of whale bone vertebrae. The paper is then coloured with whale bone black and the projecting areas of the surface become dark, while indented areas remain white.

 

One of the earliest forms of black tinting material known to man was made from the charred bone of animal remains, found in their cooking fires. The pigment, called bone black, has been identified in prehistoric paintings and found in Egyptian, Greek and Roman art. It is found throughout European medieval and Renaissance art and later in both oil and watercolour paintings up until modern times.

 

The whale bones were all gleaned on the shore in North East  Iceland.