• Des Tiny

Connect with Colour — Using Art as a Way of Knowing

Updated: Nov 16, 2021

The Therapeutic Value of Colour:

Colour is so tightly woven into our world we rarely stop to wonder what it is and how it works? Since the beginning of time, we have understood that sunlight is essential to life on our planet. Colour, is light and it is measured in wavelengths. The colours we choose to surround ourselves with in our daily lives are of great importance because we are in constant dialogue and response to our environment. Colour is a big part of this conversation because colour effects our entire organism with the energy and frequency produced by light. Once colour is seen it is then also felt through our bodily response.

It might be our eyes that “see” colour, but essentially it is our brains that process the information and send the information back: the banana is yellow, for example. The central nervous system is the main control centre of our actions and each stimulus received first affects the brain stem and then the nervous system. Colour is just one of these stimuli and after it is seen, it is also felt. The eye performs two functions: light sensitive cells known as cones in the retina at the back of the eye sends electrochemical signals to the area of the brain known as the visual cortex where visual images we see are formed. Simultaneously some retinal ganglion cells respond to light by sending signals to the hypothalamus, which interestingly enough plays no part in forming visual images. This is the non-visual aspect of ‘seeing’ that brings about the somatic response. The hypothalamus is a key player in the secretion of a number of hormones which control the body’s self-regulation. This shows there is a clear physiological connection through which colour and light can affect us. The discovery of the non-visual pathway to the hypothalamus suggests that the colour around us affects us both physiologically and psychologically.

Our bodies biological reaction to colour are very much the same; however, how our mind and spirits (psychic) response to colour is different from person to person. The biological response only last as long as we are exposed to the colour/s. This is where our mind and spirit come in: if we were to have an experience with colour that is impactful, if our senses have been stimulated, if we have been moved by our experience with colour then once that colour has disappeared from our view, we can continue to benefit from the experience through memory and sensation. Colour has an effect on our mind, body and soul through our senses.

I have created a workshop that uses our relationship with colour for nourishment. In my workshop Connect with Colour, I take the participant on a journey to meet their “Intentional Colour”. We begin by setting an intention for the workshop, this gives the workshop a purpose and our inner knowing a directive. This journey to meet the colour/s that speak to the intention set, is a journey into the imagination through mediation and visualization.

The meaning of intentionality relates to our capacity to be self-conscious. Self-consciousness is a heightened state of self-awareness. It is also something that happens in our physical or mental minds. When creating an experience with colour, a level of intentionality already exists in the act of creating a space. So, if we are going to do something with intention, we are doing it purposefully. It is a conscious act, we become self-aware about what they want to achieve so that they can bring it into being. I ask the participant what they would like to focus on or where would they like to see shift or change for themselves, what would be a good outcome to the issue at hand? This becomes their intention for the workshop. It is important to be specific so you can focus on what you need in the moment and also what is necessary for you right now. Setting an intention activates a part of our receptivity.

In my Connect with Colour workshop, I use exposure to colour through visualization and stimulation of the imagination first, then follow with traditional visual exposure to colour during art making. We allow the colours our intuition has presented us with to begin to nourish us. I feel confident we already hold the answers that we need and that colour has the ability to facilitate what wants to be heard through its vibration and frequency, subliminal communication if you will. Colour with all of its persuasive qualities, and effect on a cellular and psychic (mind and soul) level is truly a fascinating tool.

We have experienced the world visually, in colour, before language was developed. We have lived in a world of colour and vibration since the beginning of time. The vibration of colour and all that is around us is primary. Drawing helps us verbalize our visualization; we use art as a way of knowing. Art making allows us to access our subconscious giving us time to find the words after we have expressed ourselves. Artmaking gives us time to process and work through what is ‘on our minds’.

Connect with Colour is about us making time to co-create a space for a greater connection with ourselves. We co-create with colour, with art and with our inner knowing. I believe creativity is a muscle and the more we flex it and use it the stronger it will become. Why do we need creativity? Creativity is what helps us find creative solutions to what might be standing in our way. Using art as a way of knowing we can become artisans of our inner knowing. We have a wealth of resources that lie within: we only need to make space to hear them.

With Kindness Destiny Sophia @artofinnerknowing.

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