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TINT - It’s A Colourful Life

Iona Easton, Meg McKenna and Madelena Scott 

What do different colours mean to you?  


Colour is what has brought this collective together. We share a mutual fascination of colour, in all its tints and shades, and how each person perceives colour differently.  


Colour is vital to the human experience. It is shown to affect emotions, behaviour and the subconscious. For some, red is a depiction of love and passion, for others it’s a symbol of anger and frustration. Each of us interpret the world through our own technicoloured lenses. During good times and bad, suffering and success, our experiences shape our feelings and the colours we associate with life. We decided to conduct an autobiographical documentation of our lives through colour by putting on our own ‘rose tinted glasses’ each week, although, as you will see through our works, life is not always rosy.  


The process of creating our artworks was extremely important to the collective. We each started with a paint chip which represented a dominant emotion from that week. We then created our own small exploration of that colour and the associated feeling. This was a chance for us to reflect on our chosen colour and put on to paper exactly what we felt. We used any materials we found to match our colours, and any techniques that fit our emotions. As long as we could get close to our chosen colour, the tools didn’t matter.  


The final part of the process was to bring these colours to the group. In some ways, it was the same as doing our own small works. The main difference was the interaction of three different artists’ hands, three un-curated colours, and three contrasting sets of emotions. Working at the same time, we filled the space with our colours. We rotated the paper every few minutes and often drew on top of each other’s work. We let go of control and allowed the artwork to develop naturally. While we created, we talked about what the colours meant to us and why we chose them. We dove headfirst into the emotions to experience them as deeply as possible, which informed our creative process. 


Working together, our colours became bigger than our own feelings. The emotions that we started with were still visibly present, but through the immediacy of this process, they evolved to create a completely new dynamic; a celebration of our inner lives each week. 


A collective we found aesthetically inspiring was Nadrasca, a community of eight artists with disabilities based in Mitcham, Melbourne. Each artist brings their own unique style and approach, but like Tint, what they have in common is a bold colour palette. Bright colours and unapologetic mark making characterise their collective, bringing an expressive and evocative quality. They use a wide variety of materials, including posca paint pens, acrylic, ink pen, fabric and more. They seem free from any aesthetic obligation or constraint; similar to our series in which materials are chosen almost solely for the colour selection available and their symbolic compatibility with our mood, not for any aesthetic value inherent to the material itself. Often their works come off as autobiographical or simply automatic - there is an immediacy to them, which was inspiring to our process. 


When viewers experience our exhibition, we want them to engage in an interpretive visual experience. The colours of each stand-alone piece create a highly different effect to when the colours interact with each other: clashing, harmonising, tempering, diffusing, sharpening. We wonder what emotion it evokes for you as you immerse yourself in our world of colour.  


So, what colour has your week been? 

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