In the the department of the Vaucluse in Provence is the Massif des ochres du Luberon. The cliffs of the quarries, exposed through industrial scale extraction of ochre in the past, reveal an unbelievable range of bright earth colours - tints and shades of carmine, scarlet, gold and orange amongst creamy white chalk.
The natural yellow pigment is found in seams in the rock - and in Roussillon and Rustrel was dug mechanically on the surface, resulting in the deep quarries. In Gargas, the miners followed the seams underground, creating a labyrinthine system of tunnels.
Raw ochre is separated from the rock by washing and drying, then is burnt to extend the range of yellow hues into red.
Raw ochre can still be found while walking through the old quarries, where the crumbling seams of red iron oxide and yellow pigment, exposed in the face of the cliff, dust the path and the air, clinging to shoes and clothes.

Inkjet pigment printed with Epson Ultrachrome inks on Matt paper

Dust cover of fused, laser cut polyester

26cm x 17 cm

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