Pea Green Surprise

Robinson, Sally ORCID logoORCID: (2021) Pea Green Surprise. [Artefact]


The output is a single photograph taken by Robinson, commissioned for the ‘Curious Colour’ exhibition at Linden Mill Galleries. Research Process: Participants were invited to respond a single colour of their choice from the British Colour Council’s ‘Dictionary of Colour Standards’, published in 1951. Robinson's work responds directly to colour 172 ‘Pea Green'. It explores the language of commercial colour photography, referencing cookbooks and recipe cards made popular in the 1950s and 1960s, in keeping with the era in which the ‘Dictionary of Colour Standards’ was produced. Many colours in the ‘Dictionary of Colour Standards’ are named after foods, suggesting the connection between the two topics. Research Insights: This project continues my research into mid-20th century cookbooks, exploring the lavish and colourful imagery which appears in these volumes. Major advancements in colour photographic processes in this period contributed to a huge increase in the use of full-page colour photographs in cookbooks, and mark a shift towards photographs which are aspirational rather than instructional. These carefully crafted images perpetuate an idealised version of domesticity, presenting food as a visual spectacle, often in the context of entertainment and social advancement. Dissemination: The work was exhibited as part of the ‘Curious Colour’ group exhibition at Linden Mill Galleries 1-31 August 2021. The exhibition was organised and curated by artist Heather Boxhall.

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