Collection and Exhibitions

Exploring Colour by Lina Peterson

Our curators discuss this object:

When I started this project my aim was to investigate colour in a more deliberate way compared to how I normally use colour. Previous colour choices have tended to be much more intuitive and so to work with one colour in more depth has been an exciting challenge.

I began by reading up on theory and symbolism related to colour as I was curious to see if this would open up new avenues of how I could use colour in my work. As my work is often very materials-led, I wanted to develop a more considered approach to the use of colour. As I was reading and thinking about colour, I decided that my solution lay in the combination of these two elements: investigating how colour related, and in some ways how it is ‘translated’ into, different materials.

I decided to work with the colour pink for two reasons, partly because it’s a colour that has popped up in my work recently and secondly because of its interesting history. Whilst reading up on symbolism related to pink I discovered that its associations are much more varied than expected. Interesting facts about pink include cultural associations – it was originally a colour associated with boys and not until the 1940s that it became a ‘girly’ colour. Also of interest are the psychological effects certain shades of pink can have as well as the colour’s political associations. I read an interesting piece of writing about the symbolism of pink here:
Cabinet Magazine

The thing I became most interested in investigating was the idea of a monochromatic piece of jewellery made out of many different materials. I saw two ways of achieving this. Firstly I wanted to paint different materials with the same colour of paint. The individual pieces would look different because of their material properties. Secondly by bringing materials together that were ‘naturally’ pink, I could create an intrinsically pink piece of jewellery.

I put these ideas into practice by creating test pieces and drawings, trying to be playful without having a clear image of what the final result might be.

In my reading I came across the interior design concept of a monochromatic colour scheme consisting of one hue, varied in intensity, and this led to me making a small painting using the same colour pink, but with different amounts of white added.

Having conducted these experiments I concluded that I wanted to make two final pieces, one that was naturally pink and one that was painted. I started to think about what form my two pieces of jewellery should have and was torn between using imagery from one of the symbolic meanings attached to pink or to use a very plain shape, such as a circle.

The colour pink is believed to take its name from the flower Dianthus Plumarius, also known as pinks, so I was drawn to using this as a starting point for my piece. By experimentation I settled on a design that is informed by the shapes of another pink flower’s petals, the peony. (I also liked that the Japanese word for peony, botan, was used to paraphrase wild boar meat. This comes from the flowery resemblance of the sliced meat when spread over a dish. This to me was again an example of the contradictory associations linked to the colour pink.) By combining the floral influences with the more immediate aesthetics of the initial test-pieces and the use of a plain circle to make the piece more abstract I came up with a final design that allowed me to use a range of materials in each piece.

Having completed the pieces I gave them names that I had come across looking at words associated with the idea of a monochromatic object that still appears to be made up of different shades of pink.

: somewhat pink: The sky at sunset has a pinkish glow.

: in a pink manner : with a pink hue

Merriam Webster

All text and images by Lina Peterson

See also