Breathing Colour by Hella Jongerius Exhibition

Today is the last day you can visit the Breathing Colour exhibition by Hella Jongerius at the Design Museum in London. And if I could turn back time to be able to attend it several times, I would.

The main message of the exhibition is the artist’s rebellion against industrially produced paints. She experiments with colour under different lighting conditions, thus taking us through three key stages: Morning, Noon and Evening.

When you buy a ticket you get a rather large booklet, full of information and photos to help you fully understand the exhibition. As you go in, you are greeted by coloured glass that catches the lights in the room, making interesting patterns on the wall.

Next to these are Hella Jongerius’ “Colour Vases”, which represent a look into scientific techniques of using colour and how they change in contact with chemicals – such as copper oxide that turns a green colour.

However, the items that most represent the idea of how colour changes are the “Colour Catchers”. In the making of the grey “Catchers”, she doesn’t use any black, but a mix of other colours to get the five shades of grey. Due to how they are folded and where the lights are positioned, it seems as if each object has multiple shades of grey when it’s only a single colour throughout. The colourful pedestals they rest on also influence the colour of the “Catchers”.

In the last section, “Evening”, she doesn’t use any black on the walls or the objects, but a very deep blue. She also plays with shadows in this room in an attempt to make us think about how objects change throughout the day. The “Colour Wheel” was the most photographed when I went, so Instagram is going to look the same for a while under #BreathingColour.

I really enjoyed this exhibition and it made me think about the industrialisation of colour and how objects interact with their surroundings. Sadly, it ends today, but I urge you to go if you have time.


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