Breathing Colour by Hella Jongerius aims to make visitors question colour and look at it more deeply. Through the exhibition the Dutch designer plays with colour through the use of shape, texture and light, to reveal its complexity and the way it behaves in different forms and environments.
Jongerius has dedicated her life to the study of colour, her artwork drawing from and exploring various colour theories. The starting point in her research being a colour theory called Metamerism, occurring when colours are viewed in different conditions. The artist explains “some colours look dull in the morning but come to life at dusk.” The exhibition display is laid out in daylight conditions at specific times of the day- morning, noon and evening- to demonstrate this theory.
The Morning section looks at the ‘crystal- clear glow’ that the time of day produces, through the use of reflective hanging beads and ‘fresh’ coloured woven designs. The Noon section displays objects in intense light ‘bringing pigments and brightly saturated colours to life’. In contrast, the Evening space is dark and explores shadows and the ‘complex mix of colours that surround’ an object.
"My ultimate aim is to pit the power of colour against the power of form."Hella Jongerius Designer
Hella Jongerius’ calls her stunning collection of colour catchers her “canvases”, designed to help study and understand colour. Despite the sculptural objects being a single colour, they produce a three-dimensional colour chart. The colour catchers raise the question- is
the object multiple colours or is it just one single colour? It all depends on whether a person listens to what their brain is telling them is the ‘actual’ colour of an object or what our visual experience of the object is. Jongerious herself says ‘all the questions are open-ended, and all answers provisional’.