While some say that orange paintings ‘are just too much’, I believe it is about bringing the outback into any space. To remind ourselves of the vastness of the Australian continent island. The red dirt of the desert is like a vast vista of pigment itself.
“The moon is bland in color. I call it shades of grey. You know, the only color we see is what we bring or the Earth, which is looking down upon us all the time. And to find orange soil on the moon was a surprise.”
Eugene Cernan, American naval officer, naval aviator, and NASA astronaut, b. 1934
The great desert, the moon and the earth, the rich iron in the sand creates the look of orange red to the human eye. A most natural colour that needs to adorn interiors. To remind us of the importance of our environment.
“Orange, red brought nearer to the humanity by yellow,”
Wassily Kandinsky in 1910.
Sandwiched between red and yellow, orange was first recognised as a colour in the late 15th century, when the fruit from which the English word derived was introduced to Europe from Asia. Historically, orange is recognised for its royal and religious associations, including the House of Orange, the ruling Dutch Royal Dynasty since the mid-16th century, and the Protestants of Northern Island, referred to as Orangemen.
“Orange is the happiest color.”
Frank Sinatra, American singer, actor, and producer, 1915-1998
As a colour in the Western artist palette, however, orange was largely inconspicuous. But one genre where it featured prominently was in the exquisite water colours produced by Indian court painters of the 16th to 19th centuries. Declared too brilliant to be elegant in Victorian England, it was not until the French impressionists paired orange with the dazzling blues, its colour wheel opposite, to create shimmering contrast, that the power of orange in Western art was recognised.
By the 1920s, orange featured on neon-lit signs and across the covers of Vogue. The boldness of orange was fully embraced in the post-Second World War defiance, becoming a signature colour for the 1960s and ’70s.
In the era of plastic, new technologies, and the space age, the vitality of orange was adopted in all aspects of life, including fashion, interior design, homewares. I challenge you to bring orange into your home, to bring the outback of Australia into your world.
Orange is a sweet and rich fruit for my palette.