Rearview Fridays: Paint Sample Art

Today’s Rearview Friday is my paint sample art — a piece I made to brighten our bedroom wall last year. I’d found a stash of leftover paint samples from another project (which I describe below) and the muse woke up!

It’s an quick and dirty way to make a beautiful (if I do say so myself!) piece of art. I think I’ll make a how-to for it soon, so stay tuned!

Now why did I have a stack of paint samples tucked away? Press on …

When I present my dance work, I like to make unique program inserts, something to treasure, a little piece of art that supports the dance. In the spring of 2008, I created a dance about Achromatopsia (colour blindness). I used paint samples as my program inserts and put a quote from Dr. Oliver Sacks on the backs of them, a teaser to whet the audience’s curiosity. I’ll eventually include a Rearview Friday post about the dance, a piece called A|Chromatic.

The quote is awesome, I’ve gotta share it too:

“What, I wondered, would the visual world be like for those born totally colour-blind? Would they, perhaps, lacking any sense of something missing, have a world no less dense and vibrant than our own? Might they even have developed heightened perceptions of visual tone and texture and movement and depth, and live in a world in some ways more intense than our own, a world of heightened reality – one that we can only glimpse echoes of in the work of the great black-and-white photographers? Might they indeed see us as peculiar, distracted by trivial or irrelevant aspects of the visual world, and insufficiently sensitive to its real visual essence? I could only guess, as I had never met anyone completely colour-blind.”

Dr. Sacks wrote about Achromatopsia in his book Island of the Colorblind, a fascinating read. I was drawn to explore the idea of colourblindness — black and white vision — in my dance project because my mother and aunt were both born with Achromatopsia. And in spite of literally growing up alongside someone so close to me whose eyes see so differently than mine, I was/am hard-pressed to imagine what the world is like through a constant black and white lense.

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