For the past 4 years I have worked primarily in black and white. It began as an unconscious decision – I’d create a work and for some reason I felt that it worked better without colour, editing my photos so they were totally in grey scale and ridding them of every last trace of the colour they were originally shot in. However, as I started to analyse my work, I began to recognise that I had unintentionally created a series of work in black and white, and it began to fascinate me, without intention black had become a huge focal point of my practice. During my second and third years at uni I began looking into the theory behind the colour black, and identifying myself why I had chosen to work like this. I determined that the main reason for the use of black was my subject matter, I was trying to convey a sense of darkness, weightiness and decay, and so black appeared to be the obvious choice. I continued to work like this for a few years, though the occasional hint of colour would pop into my images every now and then.
The strange thing is, I love colour. Just look around my house and you’ll find colours everywhere. My skin is covered in colourful tattoos, and when asked what my favourite colours are I tend to be unable to choose and so give the answer as ‘the whole rainbow!’ At the time, I feel that black was definitely expressive of the way I was feeling, but as you can tell from my recent works, the introduction of more and more colours is something that can’t be ignored. It all started with my current project. I decided that I wanted to produce daily squares that represented my emotions, and as I have mentioned before I gave myself a set of rules, one of the most important that I didn’t want to choose colours that were obviously linked to a particular emotion, unless that’s what I was drawn to each day. I began the project thinking that I would probably end up with a lot of back squares, particularly because my mood was so often shrouded with a dark depression. To my amazement, when trying to feel the colours for that day, my mind didn’t automatically wander to black, instead I identified with blues, green, even yellows and pinks were popping into my mind. And so I painted, I painted each day the colours that were standing out to me and since then I have never looked back. Whilst I feel that black was definitely appropriate for expressing myself at the time, I have to wonder why I waited so long to work in colour – it’s so expressive and beautiful and I am in love with working with it.
As the days have progressed, I have naturally become more and more interested in the theory behind colour. What’s interesting to me if the way that, even without intention, day in which I feel a certain way, anxious for example, will often have similar colour themes, despite my operating under the rule that I am not allowed to look back at squares from other days, in case it influences my decisions for that day.
I’m currently reading a number of theory booked based around colour and emotion and am hoping to discover theories behind why I am drawn to different colours on different days. Once I am more up to date with colour theory knowledge I’ll be sharing some of my findings, along with my own ideas. For now, I’ll leave you with yesterday’s square, possibly one of my more colourful to date.