Colour ain’t color

Colours aren’t colours any more. They’ve gone the way of children’s names. Where once there was Catherine, Susan and David, it’s now Levitate, Samba and Cinnamon.

The same with colours. Vermillion is bandied about as if people know how to pronounce it, let alone how to spell it. Puce – what is that? Sounds like a species of underwater caterpillar and as for granite – why not just call it grey? Giving a cardigan the same colour as a household bench is just giving the cardigan expectations that can never be met. As for paint colours – custard puff, camomile cream and frozen frappe are things you put in your mouth, not on your walls.

Car colours too are messing with the colour spectrum. There’s spice girl red, coyote and columbia. Blue isn’t blue – it’s called horizon or midnight. Have these people ever been up at midnight? Unless you happen to find yourself in an injecting room or police lockup, not a lot of blue around.

Even white – they cannot leave it alone. Candy white is the colour of our new car. WTF? Unless it’s an edible car, I don’t want to know.

Why don’t marketing people get inventive with colours? What about a bit of roadkill brown as a car colour? Or vomit green for a cardi? Or paint the walls in urinal yellow? What’s not to like? At least it tells the whole colourful truth, which is more than bamboo shoot, coconut husk or musk memory do.


French Masters

Just returned from the French Masters art exhibition in Canberra where it seems the entire population of Adelaide had converged on town. The parking was of Sydney proportions – aka  impossible – and the queue for the Masters spilled way out the front door, like a piece of multi-coloured human spaghetti.

But it was all good natured, even though the temperature was verging on catastrophic. No jostling, just a good natured acceptance that we should have bought the premium tickets and got special entry at 9am. Once inside, people gathered like a media scrum around the big guns – Van Gogh and Monet. But again, even though easy to get an elbow wedged in your armpit or a handbag wedged up your nostril, it still felt cruisy.

In a way it’s good to see so many people interested in the arts, even if like me, they wouldn’t know an etching from a sketching or a mosaic from a fake. I’ve read somewhere that more Australians go to museums or art galleries per head of population than anywhere. Even if that is a giant exaggeration, it seems art is not just for old fogies or poseurs – it’s for everyone.