24 October 2014

Colour Perceptions

The concept of colour is contradictorily intriguing, yet simple. The majority of us see colours everyday, everywhere we look, yet don’t let it captivate our thoughts in the slightest. Others however, question why we see the colours that we see and how these colours are created. The importance of colour isn’t fully appreciated by many, as they don’t comprehend the ways in which it affects all of us. We’ve generally lost out ability to utilise colour as a means of expression by choosing what colours to wear ourselves, and instead follow fashions and comply with what retail platforms channel as suitable colours for the season. Such individuals are most likely left without the ability to effectively communicate what they’re feeling through colour and probably fail to fathom what others are saying through their colour choices.

Whether it’s white symbolising purity or black symbolising death; colour symbolism is evident throughout history and differs in the mind of different groups of people. I appreciate the fact that different cultures, from the Egyptians to the Romans, have their own perceptions of colour and reasons why certain colours are associated with certain things. This doesn’t just differ between ethnic groups, but can range from individual to individual, based on their experiences in life. One individual may see red to symbolise love and romance as they could associate the colour with Valentine’s Day, for example. Another may associate red with danger and see it to act as a warning, based on a traumatising memory that they hold.

I feel that an appreciation of colour leads to an appreciation of life. Understanding colour and connecting with it on a higher level than simply looking at it and not feeling anything, is something you naturally either do or don’t do. It’s bound to heighten your interest in art and photography; why the artist chose those colours; what they represent; what they’re trying to convey through the piece. I think that you’ll also be more likely to acknowledge the environment we live in and the sheer beauty of it. As I mentioned, it’s something that many are simply oblivious to as it isn’t within their mind-set to even spend time thinking about it. By examining the colours around you, you’re constantly developing and expanding your cultural awareness and the funny thing is, it’s a completely subconscious process.