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Coloured Journey project
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A coloured journey...

Te Atatu Peninsula

‘A Coloured Journey’ is a project that investigates the contextual significance of colour and light of a particular landscape. Te Atatu Peninsula has been used as a testing ground as it is both unique within, and typical of, the wider Auckland landscape.

Pigments were sourced from terrestrial materials found on the Peninsula and turned into paint by applying traditional methods of binding. Marine light was captured and made visible through photography and turned into paint by applying contemporary methods. The colour selection for the terrestrial and marine colour palette was a careful process. It was defined by a list of parameters and the colours were collected and captured from the coastal landscape at particular points of time and place. Using these methods allowed for a redefining of each as tangible light instances and tactile material colour.

‘A Coloured Journey’ is a series of transitions undertaken from a home in the city, to the Peninsula and onto the sea.

Within the stages of a journey between departure and arrival, moments of rest are part of the journey. At the boatshed travellers can have a moment of rest before they embark on their next adventure. To activate these moments of rest travellers will be presented with a sensory experience that includes colour, light and wind within the interior.

For this project Iris embarked on a journey to investigate colour in a particular location, Te Atatu Peninsula. Born in northern Europe, she has been amazed by the variety of colours that can be found in the Auckland coastal landscape. By understanding the landscape, colour and light of her new homeland she has developed skills and tools for how to approach the challenges that may occur within an interior space. It was of great importance to her to connect the landscape with an interior space and by researching one particular location she has learnt more about colour and light on a wider level.

Coloured Journey project

This project started with the question ‘how to find a working method of finding colour inspiration for an interior space?’

Inspiration was found in the terrestrial materials of the landscape and marine light. Two working methods in which colours from the landscape could be extracted were investigated.

Coloured Journey project

The first method is a contemporary technique of capturing colours and light. Photography and the eyedropper tool that is available in various design software were used to capture, pick and isolate the colours. When light hits the water surface it reflects and refracts light in a myriad of peaks and ripples in the water. Within these peaks and ripples the camera detects a pattern of hexagons and several hues of colour become visible.

Coloured Journey project

The Resene Colour Match online tool matches the specific colour to a similar Resene paint colour. The Resene colours in the marine colour palette are: Resene Eighth Blanc, Resene Eighth Rice Cake, Resene Longitude, Resene Mischka, Resene So Cool, Resene Coromandel, Resene Climate and Resene Possessed.

Resene Eighth Blanc
Resene Eighth Blanc
Resene Eighth Rice Cake
Resene Eighth Rice Cake
Resene Longitude
Resene Longitude
Resene Mischka
Resene Mischka
Resene So Cool
Resene So Cool
Resene Coromandel
Resene Coromandel
Resene Climate
Resene Climate
Resene Possessed
Resene Possessed

The second method is a series of traditional techniques of making paint. Pigment was made from local terrestrial materials such as soils, sand, muds and clays. The pigments were tested onto canvas with three binders: egg tempera, linseed oil and an industrial base paint. The pigment in combination with an egg tempera resulted in a colour that was closest to the raw material. This binding method resulted in the terrestrial palette.

Through this process the colours are turned into a material that is visible and tactile and that can be applied to an interior space. Through the application of the paint onto canvas and cotton fabric the layers, hues and light within become visible. It is a concrete reality, the colour acts as a material.

Interior of the former boatshed
The first rays of light are filtered through the mangroves. When light touches the boatshed it is captured by a series of sixteen three-dimensional hexagonal openings in the wall. The hexagons have their own unique position and shape to capture the sun at different times a day. Each aperture is painted in a Resene colour from the marine palette.

Light experiments were done to test how marine light and terrestrial pigment could be combined within the interior. Depending on the time of the day, season and weather conditions the play of light and colour is experienced differently. The light reflects off the painted surfaces of the hexagonal opening and onto the terrestrial colours of the interior, affecting and changing them. The marine colour that is painted onto the inside surfaces of the constructed apertures reflects onto the mangrove mud wall. The spot of direct light carries with it a halo of the marine colour.

Diffused light due to an overcast sky causes a mild ray of light within the interior. The projected light onto the mangrove mud wall is merged with the marine colour and the mangrove mud wall. The projection of clear harsh light that directly shines into the aperture has much more contrast. The distinction between the light and the marine colour is much more visible. Harsh light bleaches a pattern on the mangrove mud wall and is reflective.

The interior wall 3D wall pattern incorporates Resene Eighth Rice Cake, Resene Longitude, Resene So Cool and Resene Coromandel. Further colours of Resene Climate, Resene Possessed and Resene Eighth Blanc are also used.

The stools are modular and moveable, they open like a paint box for storage and can be taken on a journey. The fabric has been infused in oil paint. The oil paint became a good vehicle for transferring the terrestrial pigment onto fabric. Once the paint has dried out it becomes a soft yet hardwearing material. Traces of the raw material are still visible within the fabric.

Another way of activating moments of rest and to enhance the coloured experience within the journey is the ticket. A Cyanometer informed the design for the ticket. A Cyanometer is an apparatus for measuring the intensity of the blue colour in the sky. It indicates the transparency and the amount of water vapour in the atmosphere. Horace-Bénédict de Saussure (Swiss physicist and Alpine traveller, 1740-1799) is credited to have invented this scientific measuring tool in 1789 during his trekking expeditions to the Alps.

The design for the ticket refers to the variations of colour and light found at a certain moment in time at the landscape of Te Atatu Peninsula. The colours are a combination of the terrestrial palette and the marine palette. The ticket seeks to communicate colour and light with people who are about to arrive or depart. It is another way for travellers to experience the colours and light of the local landscape and interior.

Colour selection: Iris Bosman
Supported by Dr Susan Hedges, Lecturer Unitec and Dr Janine Randerson, Lecturer Unitec

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