- a workshop at Oxford Brookes University introducing Goethe's Colour Theory
Apart from providing hands-on experiences of how colour comes about in the meeting of light and darkness, the Goethe's Colour Theory served as an introduction to his scientific method. (2)
|participants notes of the workshop|
Goethe considered his treatise on colour, which was based on 20 years of painstaking research into each and every aspect of colour, including its effect on the human being, as his most important achievement - less because of its contents but rather because of the unique method of research.
Performing some of the key experiments we followed Goethe's explorations through the two first main compartments of his theory:
|observing and drawing complementary colours|
- physiological colours (including coloured shadows)
- physical colours (colours in the atmosphere, prismatic colours)
|observing colours in the fishtank|
We explored the complementary nature of additive and subtractive colour mixing:
|subtractive colour mixing|
|additive colour mixing|
Eventually we had a taste of the "sensual-moral qualities of colours by walking around the campus with coloured foils in front of our eyes:
Here are some feedbacks from course-participants:
"Thanks for sharing your magic and helping us to see!!!"
"...'Colours are the deeds & sufferings of light'- J.W Goethe. Ascendant & encountered after a day with the fabulous Axel Ewald who hosted the Goethe: 'Encountering Colour' workshop today...much gratitude!"
|Axel with participant Dianne Regisford|
(1) Goethe, J.W.von (2000): Goethe's Theory of Colours. Cambridge, Massachusetts and London: M.I.T. Press; reproduced from: (1840) London: John Murray
(2) for an introduction to Goethe's scientific method: Bortoft, H. (1996). The Wholeness of Nature. Edinburgh: Floris Books
thanks to Helena Fox and Dianne Regisford for the photographs