Iron oxide, Biopolymer


Made in

Biodegradable 241 Circular 223 Paint 20 Pigment 50 Iron oxide 3 Water 33

Iron oxide, Biopolymer
Iron oxide, Biopolymer
Iron oxide, Biopolymer
Iron oxide, Biopolymer
Iron oxide, Biopolymer

Photos: Photo of Dorieke Schreurs body painted with iron oxide: Lino Lithium, other foto's Dorieke Schreurs

Continuous Colour

Doing research, pioneering new approaches, and changing mindsets and perspectives is what Dorieke Schreurs is involved with as an artist, researcher and educator.
She searches for different ways to use materials, expanding possibilities and, in the process, creating a foundation for sustainable development in the world of colour and the world of art – worlds which strive for synergy with nature and the sciences.

Her own work can be fully integrated into the cycle of nature if necessary or desirable...however, it can also be preserved for centuries. She uses a natural but labour-intensive and specialist way of working, which works fine for her, but in order to facilitate a sector-wide sustainable change, it is necessary to expand/translate her research into a product with ready-made and large-scale production potential, a bio-based variant of the most commonly used and most polluting paint, being acrylic paint (a.k.a. fluid plastic). Research into the possibilities of developing a bio-based and especially water-degradable binder to replace the existing binder of petrochemical origin with harmful chemical additives. The focus is on renewable natural materials and biopolymers. The research project is ongoing…

In this research project, she uses natural iron oxide red to symbolically emphasise the research, visually binding past, present and future. Iron oxide RED, a colour so full of meaning that it has become symbolic and part of human history, the human psyche in every culture in the world. If any colour can stake a claim to be the oldest, it is iron oxide red. We’ve been seeing red since our Neolithic days. Natural iron oxides were the first colours humanity ever used to express itself creatively, researching biobased and biodegradable alternatives for existing acrylic paints means trying to secure a sustainable future for human creative expression…moving paint into the future.
As an artist, she is fascinated with (human) life and the world that surrounds us…and especially the world of natural colour…The most beautiful natural inorganic red pigments come from the earth, our soil, the source and destination of all life… Earth is life and death, a beautiful inorganic red, an iron oxide, Fe2O3, hematite, red ochre, bloodstone or blood earth as some call it, is so powerful because it carries the history of everything.
She also chooses to work with iron oxide pigment because it is a great example of a pigment with a past, a present and a future… the historical use of natural iron oxide pigments, the present use of mostly synthetic iron oxide pigments unfortunately with a lot of negative side effects and the possible future use of biogenic iron oxide pigments. Renewable pigments created in collaboration with microorganisms are a sustainable and symbiotic way forward, combining these renewable biogenic pigments with renewable biobased and biodegradable binders would secure a sustainable future for the creative industry…continuous colour…

Text submitted by the maker and edited by the Future Materials Bank. For information about reproducing (a part of) this text, please contact the maker.

Future Materials Encounter

Future Materials Encounters are a series of workshops and conversations around the materials of the Future Materials Bank. Each event in the series focuses on a specific material, staging a conversation between the maker and the audience.


Iron oxide pigment, biopolymers, water, natural additives.