The Colour Blue

Blue is my favourite colour!

I can’t explain it in any rational terms but I have always loved it. I used to read (and still sometimes do :-)) historical novels. I always found the stories around ancient colours and stones fascinating; I wanted to see the real Lapis Lazuli, semi-precious stones mined in exotic Mesopotamia. The ancient Egyptians prized this colour, they associated blue with the sky and with divinity; the god Amun could make his skin blue so that he could fly, invisible, across the sky. Lapis was used to make the eyebrows and kohl eyelines on the fabulous death mask of Tutenkhamun. In real life, Lapis Lazuli appears to be made of a myriad of blue hues, ranging from indigo to teal, azure to ultramarine,  no wonder it was prized more highly than gold by the Renaissance painters!

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In more recent times, the Parisian painter Yves Klein, painted almost 200 monochromes of blue starting in 1947; this one, IKB 79, hangs in the TATE. IKB stands for International Klein Blue which Klein registered as a trademark. He considered that ‘this colour had a quality close to pure space’ and he associated it with ‘immaterial values beyond what can be seen or touched’. The announcement card for his one-man exhibition at the Galleria Apollinaire, Milan in 1957 described IKB as ‘a Blue in itself, disengaged from all functional justification’. 

IKB 79 1959 Yves Klein 1928-1962 Purchased 1972
IKB 79 1959 Yves Klein 1928-1962 Purchased 1972

For me, early mornings and evenings are my favourite time to take photos. At this time the blues are intense and sometimes as the sun goes up or down there are rare seconds when you see unusual hues of blue; those moments are very special to me and capturing these colours in my images is becoming an obsession!

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