Colour, my way

Colour, like music can trigger powerful emotional reactions and can define sobriety or celebration. Many of our current art interventions at Greenwich Peninsula see artists using wide spectrums that express identity, define space transforming the built environment and public and transitional spaces.

Here are my top 5 picks where colour is at its most emotive and powerful.

1. The 1960s abstract colour field painting by American printmaker Frank Stella. Stella’s ‘Protractor’ series of paintings are characterised by areas of bold flat colour.

The graphic aesthetic moving away from pictorial, painterly works, instead exploring the relationship between colour, geometry and scale.

2. The sinister browns, blacks and blues of Jouvert carnival festival Jab Jab. Coming from the Caribbean myself, I’m strongly influenced by the colour and spectacle of Carnival.

Not all costumes are defined by sequins and feathers. Jab Jab is derived from East Caribbean folklore that speaks of a slave who met his death falling into a vat of boiling molasses on a sugar plantation!

The colour of mud and oil slicked masqueraders with red tinged horns brings alive the nightmare. The same somber colourways were used to stunning effect in Up Hill Down Hall: An Indoor Carnival designed by Gia Wolff for Tate Modern.

3. The vivid ‘traffic orange’ cast iron columns of Tate Liverpool.
Having visiting the Albert Docks in Liverpool for the first time recently I was struck by the impact of using this contemporary colour on historical architecture.

The columns draw your eyes across and out over the docks and is a simply breath-taking use of colour in architecture. The original conversion of the wharehouse to gallery was done by architect James Sterling.

The docks are one of the most beautiful regeneration schemes I’ve experienced.

4. This unapologetic use of colour by architect and artist Adam Nathaniel Furman.

Modern interiors often shy away from explicit colour and instead go for ‘calming neutrals’. This scheme strikes me as deeply considered, therapeutic and effortlessly cool.

5. The smoky evocative carpets in Antonio Bay by Crabtree and Evans for South London Gallery.

In 2014 I saw Nina Stewart’s artists in residence – Crabtree and Evans’ Antonio Bay installation and couldn’t help but be suckered by these luxuriant gradients of colour used to represent theatrical smoke ‘flattened onto carpet’.

See how colour is transforming the Peninsula. Colourblock Cranes sees working construction cranes being transformed by Morag Mysercough’s signature neon palette.

Ricardo Cavolo and Jack Taylor have used very deliberate planes of flat colour to showcase their distinctive style for a series of hoarding commissions around the site. Stables and Lucraft have re imagined interiors reviving stairwells graphic bold colour.