Ecoprint story: on metaphysics, nature & art

My name is Bahar Bozacı and I am a textile designer and eco-printing lover from İzmir, in Turkey. I was always interested in metaphysics. One day while I was walking, suddenly I shuddered, turned to my right and saw the trees. I saw the trees in a big street getting together and holding each other very closely. I always see the trees in the city but this time it was different. They were just like saying ‘hey we are here you are not alone’, you belong to us…I just realized that people were living like robots and forgot where they came from. We have built a big civilization but in fact we are so alone…because we have forgotten Mother Earth. Our egos are bigger than nature and do not remember that we are still mortal and will turn to dust…not more important than plants or animals… just human…So what is this arrogance for? People do not hear the voice of the nature. Once we knew how to connect with the animals and plants…

Eco-print on felt - Eucalyptus cinerea
Eco-print on felt – Eucalyptus cinerea

One night I had a dream that I was by the sea and suddenly everywhere in the world I began to move and I changed into liquid like quicksilver, everything was made of quicksilver, the mountains, the sea, the trees, even me… suddenly a dolphin jumped in to the see it was quicksilver too. With this dream I realized that everything in this World is made of the same thing. As Indian Chief Seattle says ‘ All thing share the same breath, the beast, the tree, the man…The air shares its spirit with all the life it supports.’ That was the beginning of my real adventure…back to nature…

'On the River' - Eco-print plant dye, eucalyptus cinerea and maple
‘On the River’ – Eco-print plant dye, eucalyptus cinerea and maple

I studied Textile Design at Eylul Fine Art University for four years and also researched animal figures on textile surface from the antique ages. I also search the Shamanism and connection between animals, plants and people. Shamans prints or weaves the animal figures into textiles and believe that they will capture their power. Many civilizations believed this and used animals and plants figures in their textiles from the beginning till present day.

'After the Storm' - Eco-print, plant dye on cotton fabric
‘After the Storm’ – Eco-print, plant dye on cotton fabric
'Hope' - Eco-print, plant dye on cotton fabric
‘Hope’ – Eco-print, plant dye on cotton fabric

After university I worked as a textile designer in various big companies since 2000. I realised that in the textile industry is mostly common to use harmful chemical dyes, fast dyeing, fast manufacturing and fast consume…After seeing all these unhealthy manufactures I preferred to try an eco-friendly technique for textile fabrics. I searched about eco-printing.

Eco-print, plant dye on cotton and silk
Eco-print, plant dye on cotton and silk
'Cage' - Eco-print and hapa zome on linen, lino print and stitch
‘Cage’ – Eco-print and hapa zome on linen, lino print and stitch

Eco-print is an eco-friendly technique that involves bundling leaves in cloth or felt and then steaming or dyeing the bundles in a plant based dye vat. Under the right conditions the prolonged contact of the leaf on the cloth can make a beautiful prints. Eco-printing, also known as eco bundling was new and amazing technique for me and I fell in love with it. I am reading lots about eco-printing and of course the main artist that uses the technique, India Flint. I have her books and they are very useful for me.

'Throw Up' - Eco-print and hapa zome on linen, lino print and stitch
‘Throw Up’ – Eco-print and hapa zome on linen, lino print and stitch

In my work I mostly use cotton, linen, wool, silk and felt … And mostly use eucalyptus leaves, pine tree leaves, rose leaves, maple leaves, flowers and various plants…I use iron, copper, alum mordant. I enjoy searching more about the technique and I am happy to share my knowledge with people.

'Fall' - Eco-print and hapa zome on linen, lino print and stitch
‘Fall’ – Eco-print and hapa zome on linen, lino print and stitch

Now I try to express myself with this beautiful technique… I use eco-printed fabrics as a background for my work and by using lino print or stitch or patchwork, I try to create a painting on the textile surface…In each of my eco-printed fabrics there is a story behind it. Now I am also planning to design clothes and accessories…

'Hello' Eco-print, lino print on cotton fabric
‘Hello’ Eco-print, lino print on cotton fabric
'Talkative' - Eco-print on felt, wool, cotton fabric
‘Talkative’ – Eco-print on felt, wool, cotton fabric

I try to break free from the everyday life and tell a little story with my work… As Rumi says ‘You have escaped the cage, your wings are stretched out, now fly…’

'Waiting' - Eco-print on linen fabric
‘Waiting’ – Eco-print on linen fabric

Connect with Bahar via her website or Facebook page


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