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Significant Colour

7 May – 27 June 2009

The Aram Gallery was pleased to exhibit the work of ten designers and artists that work in distinctly different fields, yet share the passion and sensitivity for using colour in their work. Significant Colour was an exhibition exploring the impact of colour and its richness as a subject matter for designers in different disciplines. This show continues The Aram Gallery’s interest in the way designers think and work. The exhibited pieces include furniture, photography, textiles, jewellery art, sculpture, communication, lighting and architecture.


Participants in the show were architects de Rijke Marsh Morgan and Sauerbruch Hutton, who both in their own right communicate the intelligent use of colour on the external facades of their buildings. Artist Sophie Smallhorn who showed wall sculptures exploring three dimensional colour theories. Ori Gersht’s photographs revealed the beauty of found colour in our environments and designers El Ultimo Grito showed their Guau lamp - scarlet disks of circular light floating and shimmering on the wall like a red moon. Cristian Zuzunaga who has recently collaborated with both Ligne Roset and Moroso, applied his  ‘pixel’ textile designs to windows within the gallery. The jewellery artist Mah Rana challenges us with her graphic pieces.


Ptolemy Mann showed a new series of three dimensional, free-standing monolithic textile sculptures that vibrate with saturated threads. Olivier Droillard made a poetic Mushroom console table inspired by a walk in the French Alps exploring the de-saturated colour nuances of nature. The graphic designer James Goggin  playfully tested the boundaries of colour print reproduction in bespoke publishing with his project Dear Lulu. Finally, the essential inclusion is the colour theorist, Josef Albers, and his classic nest of tables for Vitra and his Homage to the Square lithographs.


These works, beyond being ‘colourful’, engage the viewer to think more deeply about the choice and implications. Some play with process and substance, others with scale and emotion but they all reveal and enjoy the significance of their colour.


Colour is a deeply emotive and personal subject; every one of us has unique responses developed through experience that affect our response to colour. Josef Albers famously showed 100 people the exact same shade of iconic Coca Cola red and received 100 different implications as if they were looking at 100 different shades of the same colour. We all see and relate to colour differently, making it an almost impossible subject to predict and define people’s reaction with any certainty. 


Guest curator Ptolemy Mann, a textile artist and architectural colour consultant describes recent trends: ‘Colour has always been significant for human beings and there has always been a desire to place colours in and around our environments. In Western thinking of the 20th Century, however, colour seems to have diminished in importance, becoming secondary and merely decorative, deeming an object, space or building less intellectual, pure or serious than its white counterpart. More recently there seems to be a desire to readdress this balance. Especially on the façades of buildings, a visible renaissance is taking place where intelligent use of colour is being applied to serve form and function in an unreserved manner. 


With the kind sponsorship of Dulux and their colour mixing expertise, the gallery itself was transformed into a background of varying colour saturations to create a dynamic exhibiting environment. 


Phototgrapher Shira Klasmer

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