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Transcript of BLACK
or a piece of clothing
Well if we look at Light what do we learn
Suns rays passes through the
atmosphere and refracts the light into the colours we see. Anyone see black in the rainbow?
Therefore BLACK isn't a Colour..... Right?
Well what about when you see a Black?
Let me Explain. When we look at light coming from a source such as the sun the colors we see is the sum total of white. Black is not involved and therefore is not a spectral colour. It is the absence of light.
Black is Not a colour when referring to additive color. Other examples of this include TV screens and monitors where RGB is projected on to the screen.
Black objects on these screens are not actually created it is the colours and grey scale that support the object that give it definition.
But it is a colour when referring to pigments and colouring agents. All the black things we can see in the physical world. Paintings, animals, textures. etc
It is black because of a molecular colouring agent
in dark circumstances show alt col that appears black (giving examples of + and _ colour
The colour that a surface displays depends on which parts of the visible spectrum are not absorbed and therefore remain visible. In the case of black all wavelengths are absorbed.
So that is how black is both a colour and not a colour.
Psychological Aspects of the colour Black
Black has many positive qualities;
It has a slimming quality
It creates the impression of authority
It reflects success
Black also has a negative side.
It can give the impression of menace,
hate and fear.
Have you ever been
Afraid of the Dark?
Black is also intimidating and unfriendly, it can make us feel there is a power stronger than us.
Black can give us a feeling of oppression, coldness, grief and a sense of heaviness.
Symbolic aspects of the colour Black
But the question still remains. Is the black we see in the physical world truly black?
If a black object is meant to absorb all light. Then how can we see it ?
Through the ages black has symbolised many things.
By being representive of menace, evil or evil things for example within the film industry black used to symbolise the bad guys or characters like Dracula.
The colour black has also been used within great symbols within history, for instant when looking at ‘The Raised Fist’ or ‘Black Power Fist’ which is a powerful symbol through history.
As a symbol of solidarity, support, of unity, strength, defiance and resistance.
In total, around 52 different organisations including "The Black Panther Party" over history have used the symbol of the black raised fist within their organisation.
Black is also a powerful symbol of the Yin energy out of the Yin and Yang from China. The black Yin represents the feminine principle and is very contracting, receptive, relaxing and introspective.
Black is…… both the abundance of life and its total emptiness. It often appears as the designation of darkness, primal chaos and death…….
As black is the colour of night, it shares in the symbolic complex of mother-fertility, mystery and death; black is thus also the colour of fertility, mother goddesses and their priestesses.
Black symbolises many different things within different cultures a few of them being;
Judaism and Thailand
- Unhappiness, bad luck and evil
- Age and wisdom
- Wealth, health and prosperity
- Power, control, intimidation, funerals, death, mourning and rebellion
- Colour for young boys
- ceremonial colour
and commonly used in their artworks
because black represents the people.
Black has also been used in a variety of awareness ribbons to name a few; Mourning, suicide, death, Various diseases such as Melanoma, Sleep Apnoea, Skin Cancer, Loss of Son and Loss of Daughter
The Nature of Black
The History of the Colour Black
Charcoal black was one of the first three pigments, first used by Neolithic people. In the 14th century people of royalty wore black, government, clergy and judges in majority of Europe followed.
Within nature there are many
animals and places that you
find the colour black.
If you were to take a look within a cave or in the deep depths of the ocean it would appear black to you. Because of the absence of light there is only black.
The ancient Egyptians saw black
as a positive colour, as they associated it to the colour of the soil flooded by the Nile.
It was also the colour of their god of the underworld, Anubis.
Black can also be seen in space. There are “Black holes." It is called “Black” because it absorbs all light that hits the horizon, reflecting nothing.”
Space is so vast that there is not enough starlight to make space anything but black.
You could also look at the moon; because there is no atmosphere to scatter the light, on the moon the sky around the moon is black both
day and night.
For the ancient Greeks, black was
also the colour of the underworld.
Ancient Greek artists used black to
create their black figure pottery,
in the 6th century BC.
If you were to look within the animal kingdom you can find many individual specimens within species of animals that can be abnormally Black ____ this is known as Melanism.
“Melanism is an undue development of dark-coloured pigment in the skin”
Melanism is heritable, a dominate gene it is believed to be related to the process of adaptating, “becoming fitter to survive and reduce in their environment as they are better camouflaged.
This makes some species less conspicuous to predators, while others such as the Black Panther, use it as an advantage during night hunting.”
In the middle ages black was associated with
evil and darkness. It symbolized both power and secrecy in the
The black knight in medieval poetry was a
mysterious figure hiding his identity and
hid himself with secrecy.
Obtaining a vivid pure quality black was an essential element
of the most influential invention of the middle ages in the printing process.
The traditional black ancient ink faded out during printing. Printers ink was created in the 15th century out of soot, turpentine and walnut oils.
Other Black animals
In Christian theology, black
was the colour of the universe before
god created light.
Other black animals that aren’t classified as Melanistic would be the Crow and Raven.
In Islamic religion, black plays an important symbolic role. It is the colour of the Black standard.
The banner in which is said to have been carried by the soldiers of the prophet Mohammed.
In Hinduism, the goddess Kali, goddess of time and change,
is portrayed with black or dark blue skin.
Her name means ‘the black one’.
Other black animals that aren’t classified as Melanistic would be the Crow and Raven.
Other Black Animals
In the social hierarchy of ancient Rome,
black was worn by the artists and craftsmen.
Black was the roman colour of death
and mourning - worn to funeral ceremonies.
The Colour Black in Religion
To many religions, the world was created out of primordial darkness which is why they commonly relate death to the colour black.
Black in Marketing and Media
In marketing, black is used to portray the image of:
- High quality
- Powerful, authority
- Exclusivity and glamour
Black has a dramatic first impression on people.
In many situations black can be intimidating, unfriendly and unapproachable.
In business and marketing, it can be alternatively be seen as sophisticated, dignified and serious.
Black is known to be favoured by the youth market 16-25, who are still trying to find their own sense of identity and place in this world.
It is most commonly associated with elegance in European and the United States markets.
Black first became a fashionable colour for men in the 17th century, until 1926 when Coco Chanel invented the simple Black Dress. From there on, black became a popular colour in fashion for both men and women. People saw black clothing as distinct, elegant and simple.
In stage performances black was worn so that the clothing didn’t distract from the music, or performance – or sometimes as a political reason.
Studies have shown that writing printed in black as opposed to any other colour of writing, has greater authority with readers. This is used frequently in the marketing and media.
When referring to black in the arts it is usually referred to as Black and White or b&w. Though it still can include an infinite number of shades of grey.
In motion picture all films were B&W up until 1930’s and were still utilised for another 30 years, as colour was slowing introduced and perfected. In fact there was a separate academy award for best art direction for black and white and colour from 1940-1966.
Today films are rarely shot in B&W and when they are it’s for artistic purposes. In the past 50 years, only Spielberg’s Schindler’s List has been able to turn black and white into mainstream blockbuster success.
It is believed that the audience's preference for colour is probably related to the fact that film is among the most realistic forms of art.
This makes movies more compelling because they feel almost real.
Most newspapers were black-and-white until the late 1970s. Even today, many newspapers restrict colour photographs to the front and other prominent pages since mass-producing photographs in black-and-white is considerably less expensive than colour.
Optical art or Op art was described by Times Magazine as “Pictures that attack the eye” Its purpose is to create optical illusions.
This style favours abstraction. It forces the observer to focus on what their seeing, to try and comprehend it. Op Art is generally completed in black and white because of the high contrast which plays on the eye
Although in photography colour is predominant. B&W photos are still widely used and a powerful way to express oneself. So why is this?
If B&W isn’t popular in movies because it is unrealistic, then it’s for this exact reason that it is popular in photography. Joel Tjintjelaar a renowned B&W photographer states that "Black and White, in addition to being a beautiful medium in its own right (he uses words like mysterious, nostalgic and dramatic to explain its appeal) is a step removed from reality. Add in the surrealism of long exposure and you finish with a photo (or a work of art, depending on your world view) that is an expression of the artist, rather than the original subject".
Colours can be distracting making the photo look complicated, and so B&W can help focus the subject.
B&W keeps you focused on the actual composition and texture of the photo. It allows you to focus on shapes, light and shadows.
And B&W images have a timeless quality about them.
So Why is this?