©Annette Bartlett-Golden, Cantata of the Soul. Paper collage, 11 x 8 inches. $165
The Sound of Colors
By Annette Bartlett-Golden
This month I want to share with you a really fascinating and fun exploration of the concepts of color. Although it’s not a book or even an audiobook, the podcast titled Colors on the Radiolab website is really a gem. I first heard Colors on a public radio station and was mesmerized. As the about page of the Radiolab website explains, “Radiolab is a show about curiosity. Where sound illuminates ideas, and the boundaries blur between science, philosophy, and human experience.”
In Colors, hosts Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich, with the help of many guests, investigate many facets of the nature of color. The hour long episode is divided into three parts titled Rippin the Rainbow a New One, The Perfect Yellow, and Why Isn’t the Sky Blue?
They begin by asking a few questions. Where exactly does color exist? Is it within us or outside of us? To find out, they compare how different animals see the rainbow: dogs, humans, sparrows, butterflies and the amazing mantis shrimps, which I had never heard of before then. One of my favorite parts of this program is how they use a choir singing to illustrate the rainbow throughout the show.
In the second part, The Perfect Yellow, I was struck by the sad story of the yellow pigment called gamboge, a deep saffron color traditionally used to dye the brilliant robes of Buddhist monks. In Why Isn’t the Sky Blue? I was intrigued by the ancient poet Homer’s description of a wine colored sea and other strange color descriptions. But what I find especially astonishing is that for a long time there was no concept of blue!
You can listen to the podcast of Colors on the Radiolab website at:http://www.radiolab.org/story/211119-colors/. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
Annette Bartlett-Golden paints a wide range of subjects from landscapes to animals and makes abstract works with paper. Using vibrant colors, she imparts a sense of immediacy, vivacity and optimism to her paintings and paper collages.