Colours we know no names for
London/ Berlin, 2020
Vision is determined to a large degree by our expectations. We don’t see a naked world, we see a visual world which has been created by experience, memory and language.
During the first lockdown I found myself going for long walks in nature. On one of these walks I came upon a lone yellow flower and stopped to admire its beauty. When I turned away I could see purple dots in front of my eyes, dots in the same shape of the flower, but the opposite colour. They seemed real even though I knew they weren't; the image was just an illusion. The experience made me wonder about colour: what are colours and more importantly, where are they? When I see the colour red is it inside my head or out?
Scientists agree that humans began to see blue as a colour only when we started to make blue pigment. For the longest time, blue as a word or a concept didn’t exist. How and what we see is easily manipulated. The introduction of new concepts and ideas can dismantle the lines of conventional perception. How did the sky look before we knew of the colour blue? How is our perception of the world changing now?