13th October ’17: Infographic infatuation

Have you ever noticed how quickly humus goes off? I swear it happens so fast you can almost see the degradation as if you were watching time-lapse footage of it. That’s why when I stumbled across an infographic called ‘The Table of Condiments That Periodically Go Bad’ and saw humus at the very top, I thought the visual representation of its instability totally hit the nail on the head (it sits where hydrogen normally would on the periodic table). WithRead more

10th October ’17: ‘Be gone, Blue!’ said Pink

Welcome to Tuesday, folks πŸ’•πŸ’™πŸ’•πŸ’™πŸ’• Each day on The Colour File, I wax lyrical about something and nothing to do with colour. My hope is that the pictures bring a splash of colour to your day accompanied by a random (but hopefully interesting) fact or two on the subject. On rare occasions, I even get a little bit serious – like today, which isn’t just Tuesday but World Mental Health Day, too. Mental health is a subject extremely close toRead more

27th September ’17: Plastic treasures

Hello Colour Filers πŸ™πŸŒΊπŸ¦ŠπŸ¦πŸ₯πŸΈπŸ€πŸ¦‹πŸ‘•πŸ‘Ύβ˜‚οΈ As I first mentioned back in March, I’ve been a fan of art made from discarded plastic for some time but I’ve only just learned that ‘junk art’ (or ‘trash art’) is a recognised artistic movement (junk art was first coined as a phrase in the 1960s). I love the many and varied ways that people put plastic trash to good use in the name of art, such the large-scale reclaimed plastic sculptures byΒ @b0rdalo_iiΒ andΒ @mcphersonsteve‘sintricate and impressivelyRead more

17th September ’17: I ❀️ collectors

Happy Sunday, lovely people. I’ve always been fascinated by collectors: without enthusiasts, the world would be a less colourful and quirky place. One-third of UK adults engage in some form of collecting and, it transpires, we are often inspired by the random or the unexpected. Auctioneers Mallams say that 1960s-themed programmes such as Mad Men have rekindled our love of vintage toasters, kettles and ovens (out with the new, in with the old). I once wrote about collecting for @psychologiesmagazineRead more

11th September ’17: Shelfie inspo

Hi colour-lovers πŸ¦‹πŸŒΌπŸ  Someone recently asked me where I get the inspiration for my shelfscapes from. The answer is ‘Anywhere and everywhere.’ Sometimes it’s an event that prompts it (I composed a green one for St Patrick’s Day), sometimes it’s flowers or a new junk shop treasure that lead the way, but often it’s because I see colours together in unexpected circumstances and want to replicate the feel in some way. Today’s shelfie came to me after I went toRead more

19th August ’17: the beauty of maps

Welcome to the weekend, lovely people πŸ’—πŸ’•πŸ’—πŸ’•. I am utterly hooked on maps. Whether they’re topographical (showing contours and changes in elevation, apparently) or topological (showing things relative to each other, like the stations on the London Tube map), a coloured map is the epitome of beauty AND functionality. However, with more and more of us increasingly relying on satnavs, could maps soon be a thing of the past? Research shows that 80 per cent of 18 to 30-year-olds can’tRead more

18th August ’17: Hello from Wales

Hello folks, My second-in-command and I are down at the beach with our lovely friends, spotting seals and dolphins and truly understanding why the Welsh ‘glas’ means blue, and green, and both together. Life is a good place to be. Catch you tomorrow. Martha, The Colour File xRead more

Colour File Interview: Carrie Reichardt

Carrie Reichardt is a leading contemporary UK artist and self-confessed ‘craftivist’. She uses murals, ceramics and screen-printing to create stunning, affordable, subversive art and her work has also been shown at the V&A. Here, she tells Martha Roberts about her lifelong love-affair with colour… Martha: Can you describe your first colour memory? Carrie: I am not sure of my first colour memory, but I do remember that, as a child colour was extremely important to me. I went through aRead more

15th August ’17: A few library truths

Happy Tuesday, Instapeeps. In my job as a school librarian, I learnt a few things: a) children are genetically predisposed to turning down page corners; b) parents don’t always know best (Wimpy Kid does aid reading, even if YOU prefer The Secret Garden); and c) given the choice of the same book but with two different covers, kids will ALWAYS pick the prettiest. In other words, they choose a book by its cover. Whilst I don’t agree with judging peopleRead more

5th August ’17: In praise of graffiti

Happy Saturday, folks. When I was a teenager, my friend Alice had the coolest parents EVER – they let her have a graffiti wall in her bedroom where we’d scrawl to our hearts content. However, my love of graffiti didn’t start there. In the early 70s, a family friend used up old pots of emulsion to paint a psychedelic, abstract creation of multicoloured symbols, lines and swirls on our garden wall. Every morning as I ate my Shreddies, I’d lookRead more

4th July ’17: The Treasure Shelf

Happy Friday, instapeeps. Yesterday, after reading an article in a collectors’ magazine (I need to get out more), I came to the conclusion that I should have been born a Victorian. Victorians loved nothing more than collecting curios and ephemera (and, it seems, lovely words) and putting them on display, splicing aesthetic styles and not giving two hoots about whether things were ‘meant’ to go together. As for minimalism, that was considered in bad taste (quite right too). As aRead more

3rd August ’17: Potent yellow

Hello from Thursday, folks. I know how much you love yellow so I thought I’d bring you some more. It has been said that bright yellow rooms make babies cry, couples argue and opera singers tantrum (it’s the first colour the eye sees so it can certainly heighten alertness). But yellow only has positive connotations for me. When I was around four, my Mamgu (Welsh grandmother) would occasionally go to her 1950s drinks cabinet in the front parlour, open itRead more