The Dirty Old Gallery

31a West street, Hastings, East-sussex, TN34 3AN

Saturday 13th July 2022

11 - 1pm


Book through The DOG's website:


or email directly to reserve your place:


IMPORTANT: Please bring a glass jar and lid.

"Join artist Polly Bennett in a pigment making workshop using found natural materials from the surrounding area to create artist's pigments. 

The use of pigments is ingrained in human civilisation, having provided us with the means of expression since prehistoric times.The oldest known use of pigments is a recently found cave painting of a wild pig, found in a cave in Indonesia, made at least 45,500 years ago. The first pigments to beused by man were yellow earth (ochre), red earth (ochre), white chalk, bone white (burning bone), bone black (charred bone) and carbon/lamp black (soot of burning animal fats). A lot humbler than the options we have today, and that much more connected to Earth.


On the workshop you will learn the tradition of processing earth into powder pigment through grinding and purification, and subsequently use the pigment to make watercolour paint.At the end of the workshop, you will take home a hand-painted colour chart, purified pigment and watercolour paint. 

Polly Bennett (b. 1996) graduated from City & Guilds of London Art School in 2018 and in 2019 completed The Worshipful Company of Painter-Stainers Decorative Surfaces Fellowship. Subsequently, she became an Honorary Freeman of The Worshipful Company of Painter-Stainer. She is also a member of the Wilderness Art Collective, a group of creatives whose work discusses the natural world. Polly is a landscape artist “portraying the land, with the land” through traditional craftsmanship, using locally sourced materials in a process likened to alchemy. Combining a museological approach to materials with immediate observational responses, she collaborates with, and investigates the surrounding rural environment to re-visualise an experience of her own, and create one for the viewer. The concluding work recollects the explored environment as a memorialised snapshot, producing abstract and deconstructed results.


From a young age, Polly has been a collector of found objects and this progressed into seeking a way to reuse, repurpose and recycle her finds in an artistic context. As a result, she not only looks for mineral and botanical pigments but regularly visits her 'local refuse', the Thames foreshore, to collect historical waste that creates an array of colours, this includes: bone, industrial waste, shells, plastic and rusty metal.


At the beginning of the pandemic Polly had a lot of free time on her hands, giving her the opportunity to begin POLBEN's Pigment. Through POLBEN's Pigment, Polly sells natural pigments she has sourced and processed herself, along with natural inks and watercolour paints. This project grew out of a love for the natural environment, creativity, and the ability to share her finds with fellow colour enthusiasts. Find it at https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/POLBENSPigment?ref=search_shop_redirect"