Deborah Kressebuch spent the two summers of 2021 and 2022 on the Gornergrat in Zermatt as a shepherdess. The artist was shaped by her work and life in the high alpine region. While working, she always collected colored stones. This formed the basis of the Gornergrat pigments and her 'Stone on Stone' series of works.
Deborah Kressebuch spent day and night, 7 days a week, on the Gornergrat for a whole 4 months. The sheep determined their daily routine and in between the artist devoted herself to the everyday minimal things like cooking and fetching water, and used the time and thoughts to further develop her work. In addition to the photographic documentation of the alp time, her focus was on the rocks of the mountain.
The process from rock to color to image is captured in a short video.
The development of paint production from rock pigment continued the following winter during the trip to Portugal.
During this in-depth studio time, Deborah Kressebuch used literature and the internet to investigate various options for producing good-quality pigments and processing them into pastels and colored pencils. The recipes were hard to find, so the artist started experimenting herself.
Over the summer, a wide range of stones was collected, which appeared in impressive colors, especially when it rained.
So how was it possible to create paint from these stones? Deborah Kressebuch has been investigating this question for several years.
The production of a pigment seems like a mission from the first processing: to grind the stone into a fine powder. But then the original stone color is often changed, because the outer appearance of a stone does not always correspond to the inner mineral composition.
Nevertheless, the artist stubbornly pursued her goal and created a whole series of color pigments.
The artist also found water-thin slabs of rock with the shepherd on the mountain. She used this in a first series, 'Stone on Stone', to paint the landscape and the panorama of the Gornergrat with the pigments.
She developed her own recipe for pastels and oil crayons and in a last step she found her own production of colored pencils. It is particularly important that she gained knowledge from a visit to an old ocher factory in France. The elaborate previous procedures now enable her to produce her own high-quality paints on a small scale.
Each color is given a name and an indication of the origin as well as the rock and the year of discovery.
The palette now offers everything: colors for painting, drawing and archiving the colors of a place.
Implementing local inspiration is Deborah Kressebuch's core interest. She searches for the most consistent form of transforming her life, her impressions into authentic art.
There is far more potential in it than the artistic end product at the end. The research process, which is far from over, is linked to the development through the materials and works. The thought of returning life and art to their original, independent form creates a backloop into the digital world.
A little revolution is happening here.
Thus was born the first palette of pigments and their accompanying pastels and colored pencils.
All of this is just the beginning of a story that can and will be continued indefinitely.
Let yourself be surprised!