Enamel colour swatches nearly ready for Amiens Project. These 2 metre strips are being made at AJ Wells, vitreous enamellers on the Isle of White. All the colours chosen have been matched to colours found in the Hortillonage, the floating gardens of Amiens. These will be installed in the next couple of weeks after being fixed to oak sculptures and installed in the Gardens. This is a public engagement project where the public choose the names of the colours via text and a website. http://www.jardinschromatiques.fr – the results will go to form a colour chart for the gardens. The opening of Amiens festival is 14th June.
Just completed the central mosaic for the main square of Southern Housing’s latest development in the East of Brighton. Collaborating with Jane Fordham the mosaic is 3 metres in diameter and a black, white and grey abstract design. Surrounding the mosaic are 8 re-claimed Victorian Lampposts fitted with colour changing LED’s- the residents will be able to control the colours of the lights via an app downloadable to their smart phones. The changing lights will also illuminate the mosaic and its neutral tones will be chromatically altered by the coloured lights.
I have another project in Amiens again this year – This time to work specifically with the Hortillonage or floating gardens – I and the other selected artists and Garden designers (French and English) all met up a few weekends ago – where we discussed our projects and visited the sites. There are some really interesting projects being developed.
I will continue with the colour Library , first exhibited at Fabrica – this will be the first time it has been done in another language and will be done using a series of enamel colour swatches installed onto wooden sculptures (otherwise known as posts) and based on the colour in and around the gardens. It will also be the first time where the public will be able to interact with the project using smart phones and social media.
A meeting between The Colour Group of Great Britain and the Italian equivalent -Gruppo del Colori was held at Florence University last week – This was the first ever collaborative meeting. I spoke about the Colour Library and how it started with my first Fabrica residency and how it developed into the Portland Colour Chart http://www.portlandcolourchart.co.uk/. I went onto speak about how language effects our perception of the world and how through the investigation and results of these two projects the colour terminology people are using today is being strongly influenced by paint industry names. I concluded that this ‘consumeristic’ language could be having a detrimental effect on how we perceive colour and colours and hence the world around us.
Over 40 people gave papers over two packed days on really diverse subjects – one example being:
‘White can be transparent : Why Wittgenstein was wrong’
Last Saturday, I painted out 50 blues onto 50 panels in Fabrica. I painted the most expensive pigment (lapis Lazuli £200 for 10 g) to the cheapest Bic biro. Here they are all in all their glory and now exhibited in Fabrica. It was an interesting exercise, putting a Dulux colour next to a historic pigment. Some of them were very hard to paint out needing quite a few layers. The hardest was Egyptian blue a copper based pigment and the earliest used blue – it really clumped together and was very coarse. Similarly but not surprisingly Lapis was like painting with very fine sand, although darker than I had imagined it has a depth and a gentle intensity that the other colours don’t have – Go and have a look – the names are not listed to keep you guessing but if you really want to know ask one of the volunteers they know the true identity of all !