Welcome to the first of my monthly series where I’ll be sharing my colourful adventures. And I have to say it’s certainly been colourful! London during May comes alive with colourful design shows, exhibitions, events and general all round colour fun. Here I share some of my favourite colourful moments…
My Day at Dulux HQ
Clearing wasting no time as on the 1st of May I was invited to Dulux HQ by my colour buddy and dear friend Marianne Shillingford, Senior Creative Director at Dulux Akzonobel. We spent the day immersed in all things colour starting by looking at their global colour trends research, their approach and application and how that’s translated to their customers. Along the way I was introduced to members of the team who spend a a lot of time and effort pulling all of this together. And as much as I tried I couldn’t get even the tiniest hint what their Colour of the Year for 2020 is! We’ll all have to wait until September.
After an energy building lunch it was time to immerse myself in the fun of mixing colours. I’ll be posting a separate blog about this… it was just sheer joy to just play mixing colour and experimenting. I came up with all sorts of greens and blues and yellows and pinks and oranges – the colours where so delicious I could eat them! And I even created a new colour which was very exciting. But that’s for another time!
Colour Panel at Minotti London
Then it was back to London to be on the panel at Minotti London chaired by interior designer Daniel Hopwood (you might know him from the BBC and Netflix show ‘The Great Interior Design Challenge’), Kassia St Clair journalist, cultural historian, author of the bestselling ‘The Secret Lives of Colour’ and Jane Monnington Boddy Head of Colour at WGSN and trend forecaster.
Minotti invited us to their beautiful London showroom to discuss in front of a sellout industry audience our views and thoughts on taking the colour Beyond the Colour Wheel, which if you’ve been following my blogs over on karenhaller.co.uk/blog, or attended any of my talks over the years, you’ll know that I’ve been advocating how colour has a life way beyond the colour wheel. And it was clearly a subject our design audience loved given the great Q&A session and the questions over drinks afterwards.
I was really excited to hear what Daniel, Kassia and Jane had to say based on their specialty area of colour. I hadn’t met Kassia or Jane before so that was a real treat!
Grand Designs LIVE
Back in April I received an email from Helen Crouch from Concept & Completion saying she was creating a room set at Grand Designs LIVE, London and how she would love to include my book as she felt the book cover would work perfectly in her “relaxing spa bar under the stairs room” colour scheme. Penguin Life kindly printed off a mock-up cover and wrapped over another book. See if you can spot it in the image below.
LIVING Colours Japan House
Over in west London’s Kensington High Street, Japan House had an amazing exhibition called LIVING COLOURS which I managed to get to the day before it closed. Luckily one of my colour & design students reminded me during the week so we both went along and I’m so glad I went.
There has long been a deep appreciation of colour in the Japanese culture based on a close relationship with their natural surroundings and the changing of the seasons which I just love. This exhibition explores the work of the Yoshioka Dyeing Workshop in Kyoto showing how they create their colours through their age-old natural dyeing techniques showing Japan’s vibrant colour culture.
If you weren’t able to make this exhibition, this video is the next best thing to being there!
Grab yourself a cuppa and get comfy as this video will take you on the most wonderful journey into their age-old natural dyeing techniques and showing Japan’s vibrant colour culture. Enjoy!
Clerkenwell Design Week
Wrapping up May was Clerkenwell Design Week, east London. I love how other the years colour has been slowly making itself known. This year there were more colour related events, exhibitions and talks than ever before. And usually being involved in CDW, this year was my ‘year off’ which enabled me to spend more time wandering the labyrinth that is Clerkenwell and discovering new design showrooms, installations and eateries.
I popped over to catch Liz West give a talk on her colour installation where she described it as Live Colour playing “with people’s individual perception of colour, challenging how they feel when immersed totally in one colour, then quickly drowned in another in deep contrast”. This image shows orange, we also experienced red, green, blue yellow and brilliant white light. Standing in the space experiencing sudden, intense colour changes I actually felt motion sickness and had to go outside and sit down. It was just way too intense for me.
On the final day of Clerkenwell Design Week I caught up with Mark Wentworth. We first emailed each other around two years ago to meet up and it just never happened, so when I saw he was going to be talking at CDW I was there! I love listening to other colour professional’s take on colour and how they apply it to their work and life – there’s always something new to learn! We had a great chat over lunch and then I attended his three workshops in the afternoon. Talk about a colour filled day!
Well I don’t know about you but that was certainly one colourful month and that’s not including the weekend away fancy dress birthday party or my dear friend (and colour colleague’s) colourful wedding in Ireland.
I can’t wait to see what June brings!
And if you would like to stay in touch with what I’m up to in our colourful world then join me over on Instagram.
Until then, wishing you a colourful day!
All photos mine except for Grand Designs Live. I wasn’t able to make it so Julie Stevens kindly took them for me.