Using colour to represent emotion

For my Outside/Inside project I am using colour as one of my main focus points. What I have been doing with this is playing around with the idea of using colour to represent the emotion and mood behind the text. When writing my thoughts down on my chosen medium (usually cartridge paper) the text flows into each other and overlaps making it quite tricky to read. The use of colour will give the viewer of the piece an understanding of the emotion behind the text with out actually being able to read the text itself.

I was first inspired to use colour after completing the ‘Light is Colour’ field Collaborative lab with David and James. Using screen printing and experimenting with the different colours really inspired me to use colour to represent emotions. For example, with brighter colours like yellows and oranges will represent brighter and happier moods where as dark blues and blacks will represent duller and darker moods. Reds and greens on the other hand will represent moments of anger of destress.


The first card on the left in the image above represents a bright mood behind the text but also moments of anger. On this ATC I have wrote down my thoughts surrounding my first day back at work when I went home over Easter. The yellow and bright orange colours around the sides are symbolising the happier comments I have written down about being home with family and friends and also returning to work after three months. The red patch in the middle represents a period of time during the day where I was angered or irritated.

The second card to the right in the image above represents a day where I had very mixed emotions. Most of the day is shown to be happy and bright as I have used yellows and reds when writing about the amazing life my grandfather had that passed recently but the greens represent the day as being partly upsetting a destressing knowing that he is no longer with us.

The white used in both cards and in most of the other cards I have made represent a barrier between the text/colours and the viewer of the cards. When I feel upset about something or feel as if I look fragile I put up a barrier to block out other people so that no one knows how I am feeling. I think the white represents this quite well as you are unable to see through it very well and it also gives the card a more layered effect.

Development on Thoughts


Above is a collection of images I have taken on some of the experimental pieces I have been doing for my Outside/Inside project. I have been basing this project around thoughts and have been documenting my thoughts on pieces of cartaliage paper. The reason I have thought to do this for my Outside/Inside project is because I was thinking of taking things that are Inside and displaying them on the outside. I thought that using my thoughts and also my feelings would be quite a good idea as your own personal thoughts are only shown when you either I say them or write them down. I thought that by displaying my thoughts would be quite a different take on the Outside/Inside theme.

Whilest experimenting with this I over lapped my writing to see what kind of effect it would have and I really liked the outcome of this. Doing this has given the text a layered and textured effect that I think looks very interesting. Whilst I was doing this I found that writing down everything I was thinking and feeling to be quite therapeutic and I felt as if I had unloaded everything I was feeling out onto my sheet of paper and it was quite a cleansing feeling. This idea could link to my past research on art therapy.