20th July ’17: Rarely black & white

Hello from Colour File HQ, lovely people.

Much as I adore colour, I’m fascinated by black and white. Having grown up in the Seventies, with black and white TV and newspapers without colour pics, it was very much part of my early life. Although I’m now inclined to leave black and white alone (I once tried B&W interiors – draining colour from rooms also bled me of joy) I appreciate its simplicity (these pics are black and ‘soft’ white which I find much easier on the eye). I’m also intrigued by its symbolism in relation to mourning. Where black is conventionally worn in the Western world when someone dies, in the 19th century, black with white hints or white with black hints symbolised ‘half-mourning’ (light- or second- mourning was black and white mixtures, so patterns like in these pictured would have been permitted, as well as subdued colours like grey, lavender, violet and mauve). Since hearing a radio programme about this a few years ago, I’ve often thought that modern society is missing a trick when it comes to supporting those who are grieving. Wearing a black and white lapel ribbon might help us say to the world ‘I’m starting to find my way but I’m still fragile so handle with care’ without having to explain. I’ve certainly had times when this would have helped. What are your thoughts? I hope today is kind to you. I’ll be back soon with some colour to counteract the monochrome.
Martha,The Colour File x

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