My theory of pink
The colour flashed in front of my eyes, bright, impossible, impudent, becoming, life-giving, like all the lights and the birds and the fish in the world together – a shocking colour, pure and undiluted. Elsa Schiaparelli
I have loved pink from my earliest memory. I’m not sure exactly what it is about this shade – I’m told it’s just pale red at the end of the day – but it speaks to me in a way that red and orange simply do not.
The fact that this colour is aligned with and maligned by its connection to femininity makes it all the more appealing to me. I believe that the majority of what we consider ‘female’ is entirely constructed and rarely in the favour of those who are so described.
What exactly is it about the association of pink with femininity that makes it unworthy of respect, attention and exploration? From a colour perspective, I have no answers. From a gender analysis perspective, I have no good answers.
From my perspective, pink is a colour that cannot be ignored. Even when subtle, its presence is noted. Almost everyone has an opinion about it, love or hate.
Viva la pink
Sometimes I can’t tell if it’s the shade of pink that I love or the name.
Baby, Barbie and bubblegum.
Fuchsias and flamingos.
Pastels and paradise.
Hot, light and deep.
Razzle dazzle and tickle-me-pink.
It’s almost pornographic.
I am endlessly drawn to cool, icy, blue-tinted worlds, so the blue-tinged pinks like magenta, fuchsia, neon and ultra are some of my favourites.
At the blue end of the spectrum, these pinks are almost aggressive, difficult to look at for very long. They pull you in and repel you all at the same time. They are neon, luminous and very, very cool.
With more red we have entered the gaudy pink-purple world of fuchsia flowers, almost painful for the eye under intense summer sun.
With white added, these blue-pinks are almost unrecognisable from their neon counterparts, yet the more you look the more those cool, blueish tones seep through.
I think these are my most highly prized pinks.
I am almost equally obsessed with the deep, rich, intense pinks with a touch more red – hot pink, brilliant rose, shocking, fandango.
For me this colour originates with the deep pink wild rose, whose fragrance and colour is completely unmistakable in the green of the northern countryside.
The orange-tinted coral pinks are a new appreciation. They speak of tropical landscapes, summer and hope.
Found occasionally in fresh fruits and vegetables – wintery red grapefruits, an inky blood orange, the deep peach of a perfect oyster mushroom.
In-between colours that you just can’t quite name…
Favourite pink pairings
I would love to know your favourite hues… art.nancy-anne.com @nancyanneharbord