Pure Green


I was fascinated by the colour trend forecasts at London Tent last week. Tent is an high end ‘multi-faceted’design show in London’s East End. With Creative Director of Rex giftware, I followed the trend tour around the show led by Global Color Researchâ„¢. It was a tour of four commissioned installations about the forthcoming evolution of the colour green, like 3-d mood boards. And the forthcoming evolution of green is pertaining to interior design.

The first trend stop was at the concept display called Bleep. It was like a fine art piece; voice controlled machines painted a painting by spraying out colour in the form of consumer house paint on to a wall. It expressed clunky analogue retro technology (which was prominent in this years fine art shows in the form of record players, cassettes and camera film) and it supported the trend concept by demonstrating fun and grown up play.

Next was Mother Earth. Here the decorated wall showed us the concept of dark and precious. It could be in the woodland or in a cave. The colour green here was bright and jade like. The wall was dark, not dirty. The materials were precious gold, crystals, but not bling. Bark is mixed with Swarovski, with sparkling, jewel like detail in the crevices.

On to Alpine, the love of the outdoors, of feel good greens, mountains and forests. This was a ‘tapestry’, a figurative jigsaw-like laser cut image of the nature of London fields, not Scandinavia. It included wood panels and engraving and showed how a particular green can respond to and change according to the colours around it (not such a new idea).

At the end was Burst, a high energy, uplifiting, edgey wall of drawing and more along the lines of urban street art this time. We are in 2014 now. The greens are mossy but also hyperreal and fluorescent. We were reminded that the green pallette does not always have to the natural.

All this talk of green made me remember a tour I was taken on of the House of Commons, lead by a friend who was working there at the time. She gave me fact sheet about the House of Common’s green. The fact sheet tries to work out the significance of green in Parliament.

“The use by the Commons of green is much less easy to explain…..There is no standard shade of green; all gradations, from pale sage to deep malachite, are in use.” It talks of Green Men, green in theatres, everlasting greens and archers but is inconclusive.

And here is another green. In an alchemical experiement, Medieval Blackadder’s Percy invents pure green. It’s a joke too about which material, and colour, we value more than another and at different times.

House of Commons green, a factsheet >>
Global Colour >>


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