Personal reflection: Colour

Wednesday 14 Feb 18

(see list of illustrations 1)

I started this journey with the OCA to develop my creative voice, choosing Photography as my vehicle. I have no idea if photography will be my final destination though.

Since I have started this course, and especially since the start of this year I have been having more frequent and more vivid dreams.  Last night I had a startling dream of and about colour.  It is hard to describe but it felt euphoric and healing; I almost felt overwhelmed by the sensation of colour, ecstatic, full of humour and pleasure.  For those who know me, they will wonder if I’m on some sort of medication – I’m not one for grand and emotional outpourings.  All I can say is that something is awakened in me and for some inexplicable reason, it feels like I should be making something visual (images?) that is connected with healing.

Reading my own words makes no sense to me – how can a photograph be healing? At this stage I do not have the answers but I want to capture the emotions.  I have touched on this before, but I have a condition which was described growing up as being “colour blind”. Apart from the obvious, I am not blind to colour, this diagnosis hijacked my childhood dream of becoming (don’t laugh) an electronics engineer.  Perhaps I took the diagnosis to heart because I also decided from an early age that I preferred black and white, or monochrome, photography. For years that is what I defined as “my photography” – for years that is what I read about, bought books about, viewed exhibitions about, collected and photographed.  I used tri-x, fp4, hp5, acros and worried about acutance, edge sharpness, developer dilution.  More to the point I ignored colour; I had no right to talk about colour because I was “blind” to it or my colour vision was “all wrong” or “untrustworthy”.

I started Expressing Your Vision wanting to develop my photography, knowing that I had to get out of my monochrome comfort zone and this has been encouraged by my tutor.

Last year I went to the most amazing exhibition Breathing Colour (Jongerius, 2017).  The artist created an exhibition using colour and form, that was principally about colour, that awakened something in me.  This exhibition shook me up visually and the OCA Discuss forum is opening my mind creatively.

I feel now that colour is calling out to me; I’m just not quite sure how to respond yet.


  1. Owen-Ward, M. (2018), Orange


Jongerius, H. (2017), Breathing Colour, [Exhibition].London: Design Museum, 28 June – 24 September 2017.