Monika Grev was a prominent German physicist that focused her work in developing natural dyes and their healing effects during the 1800’s. At an early age Monika could already be found exploring in her native fields, studying the plants and minerals and making compounds out of them, and with the help of her mom, extracting their colors into concentrated pastes and salts. As she grew older, Monika learnt how to read and write with the help of the town librarian, who also facilitated botanical and physics books to her. It is said that during her teenage years Monika started to unravel her natural gift of holding telepathic dialogues with the mineral and botanical kingdoms, hearing their healing vibrations and their different uses to improve different ailments and people’s well being through colored textiles and compounds. During this dialogue the Plant Kingdom would instruct Monika how to transfer and combine these attributes into color dyes to be later used in fabrics, yarns, waters and salts. By 21 years of age Monika’s cellar had been converted into her lab and only the librarian and a few other people knew about it. This is where she developed a deeper passion for physics and mysticism. Her passion and dedication was such that is was harder and harder to live in the divide between her hidden and social lives. She was a sweet looking yet strong willed woman, who was exercising her right of expression in an extravagant fashion in a time where women were usually the strong shadow of the men who shaped the forefront of society. She had the conviction that humans were born to live extraordinary lives doing what they loved and was determined to continue her practices even after numerous warnings. Needles to say, the healing power of the colors she developed spoke for themselves and outside the norm of those times: dark fiery pinks, vibrant emerald greens, rich voluptuous yellows, mysterious milky blues, nurturing golden browns and textures that evoked passion and creativity once in contact with people’s eyes and skins. Monika Grev was hung in the town courtyard with the charges of witchery.
New York 2012
Concept, costume and direction: Patricia Buraschi
Photography and retouching: Hanna Agar