By Marian Connor

I was thinking…

Recently I am loving Somerset House, not just the building that we see in a lot of period dramas, morphing itself into a rinky dinky area of London throughout time. But the fact they are hosting more and more interesting exhibitions. Every time I go I find another little gem to savour, as happened a few weeks back, when I wandered into ‘Form through Colour: Josef Albers, Anni Albers and Gary Hume’.

I enjoy colour very much, you may not think so to look at me as my wardrobe consists mainly of black, admittedly, it has different weights, textures and surface patterns but nevertheless it is predominately black, and I live in a space predominately white. So I am obviously a fan of monotone but that doesn’t rule out a love for colour, its ability to change a space, a mood and the magic its combinations can perform.

In the exhibition the work by Josef Albers was so inspiring; it had such a good feel about it. Albers, a painter and teacher who went from the Bauhaus in Germany to Yale in the USA, created ‘The Interaction of Colour’ in 1963. His work is a feast for the eye and the emotions.

The ability of colour to affect us emotionally is well documented, we experience physiological and psychological changes when exposed to particular colours, which has been used as a tool for wellbeing for millennia in ancient Egypt, Greece and India and is still employed today in Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Colour is light vibrating at a particular frequency resulting in a particular colour, different frequency = different colour. The light enters the eye, a nerve impulse travels to the brain, which begins the process of creating pictures of the world around us.

“Colour is the place where our brain and the universe meet”

Paul Klee, painter

Colour is an important aspect of our visual experience, a powerful form of communication, we have a very personal relationship with colour which is influenced by society and culture. Its effect on us is utilised in Advertising, the Media, Interiors; used to influence our mood and our desire to purchase goods.

Western medical research is now showing evidence to support what ancient societies have always known instinctively. How colours affect our psyche and our soma.

“Man needs colour to live; it’s just as necessary an element as fire and water.”

Fernand Léger, painter

“Studies have shown that the colour surrounding a person can have a profound effect on health to the point that they may even influence the course of a disease.”

Dr Richard T. Davis – Psychology Dept at UCLA  – ‘How Color Affects Us’ by Keelynet

 “I know that if odour were visible, as colour is, I’d see the summer garden in rainbow clouds.”

Robert Bridges, poet


Here are some examples of the illusionary effect of particular colour and pattern combinations.


I am working on one that can be utilised when required to make me appear long of limb and light of spirit. It has eluded me thus far but I live in hope.

Why not investigate the links to discover more about how colour affects us, and as the days grow darker, now is the perfect time to use colour to compensate for less daylight.


Series of three pen and ink images of a face in monotone, purple and blue


Copyright © Roy Leader 2014. All rights reserved


Image Tile/Header  – Farbenkugel (Colour Sphere) by Philipp Otto Runge (German Painter 1777-1810) – Wikimedia Commons

YouTube clip – Josef Albers by Yale University

YouTube clip- Mind Blowing Optical Illusions

 Colour stuff here  ‘The Meanings of Colours’ by Color Matters  

Image – Series of Three Images – Original Art by Roy Leader – with his kind permission we are showing the detail from one of his works with and without colour. We love his art work and are looking forward to his next Exhibition, ‘ Works on Paper’ at the Brick Lane Gallery, London from 28th October  – 10th November 2014. Roy Leader can be contacted at scissorhand@hotmail(dot)co(dot) uk



Copyright © 8 in the Universe Limited 2014.  All rights reserved