The TURNER LECTURE and Medal Presentation

Wednesday 01 April 2015
17.00 hrs
The Great Hall, City University,
St John's Street, London EC1V 0HB
Carlos C-D
FREE ENTRY - OPEN TO ALL but a complimentary ticket is required
see Event Page for details

Saturday 21 March 2015
Omnibus, Clapham, London

heading puzzle game
girl baby grabs colour
Designed for the general public the International Colour Day celebration was held at Omnibus, Clapham, and was thronged by people of all ages trying the demos, puzzles and lectures, all concerned with colour. There was an art exhibition too, of work by Colour Group members.
(Photos: Janet Best)
colour puzzle again Viewing a new app

joint event with the BFI

Wednesday 4 February 2015
City University, London

Webb, BFI Ruedel, BFI
Three speakers from the BFI, Kieron Webb (ABOVE LEFT), Ulrich Ruedel (ABOVE RIGHT) and Bryony Dixon (BELOW RIGHT), together with Guy Edmonds of Plymouth University (BELOW LEFT) spoke on the history and developments of colour in film and film restoration.
Edmonds Dixon, BFI
question time
Pointer, LeedsThere followed a question time and then Mike Pointer, Leeds University (RIGHT) spoke on how colour was measured. There followed a reception to celebrate the cooperation of the Colour Group and the BFI.

The event was over subscribed and many people could not get tickets. The good news is that the BFI and the Colour Group are making plans to repeat and extend the event in the next programme session - watch these web pages!

with Palmer and CRS Lectures

Wednesday 07 January 2015
Institute of Ophthalmology, London

Bonnardel and Hurlbert
During the day there were eight speakers (details here) but proceedings started with the Palmer Lecture given by Prof Anya Hurlbert (Newcastle University). The Colour Group Chairman, Valérie Bonnardel presented Anya with the Palmer Lecture certificate after her lecture ABOVE. In the afternoon the CRS sponsored lecture was given by Prof Fred Kingdom (McGill University, Montreal) - he was introduced by Katia Ripamonti of CRS BELOW.
Ripamonte and Kingdom

COLOUR and SPARKLE in jewellery:
all that glitters is not gold

Wednesday 03 December 2014
City University

diamonds Lynne Bartlett
Andrew fellows We are told diamonds are a girls best friend, but the audience already knew this and was more concerned to hear about the history of jewels and the four C's as applied to gem stones, particularly diamonds.

Lynne Bartlett, designer and maker of jewellery (
TOP RIGHT), reviewed from the earliest times up to today how different techniques and materials were used to make desirable and fashionable jewellery.
Andrew Fellows (Gem-A, London, ABOVE) considered ways to measure the colour of stones and concluded that the matter was so complex, the experienced human eye was probably best.
After tea Alan Collins (Kings College, RIGHT) discussed the colours seen in diamonds and in particular presented scientific explanations for some of the attractive blue, yellow, pink and green colours that occur naturally and are highly prized. He also described briefly how the colours of some diamonds can be changed by various treatments
Alan Collins
Finally Claire Mitchell (Gem-A, London) explained how diamonds are tested and classified, a process necessary for determining the price of stones (RIGHT Lady


SPRING INTO GOOGLEGoogle Spring heading

Whilst the Colour Group (GB) was celebrating International Colour Day on the equinox, in India, Google was celebrating the Iranian (Persian) New Year by changing from the usual Google to the spring version with flowers, colours and insects as seen above. When your mouse moved over the word Google, it read Navroz Mubarak. wishing you a Happy New Year.


dress colors

Last Autumn New York Fashion Week promised the hot colours for Spring 2015 would be "Lemon Yellow, White, Sky Blue & More" whilst Pantone chose the colour for 2015 as marsala. Marsala is a Sicilian red fortified wine. Most popular in the UK is the sweet version used for making zabaione. Now Spring is just about arriving so for those of us who are stuck in the colour lab and don't get out much, can you tell us which is winning - the hot colours or the earthy red? The tart lemon or the sweet nectar?


lizard and chameleon

So you thought lizards were coloured by chromophore cells and that chameleons changed colour by expanding or contracting these cells. Half right. A group from Michel C. Milinkovitch's lab in Geneva have been studying these features of colour and two years ago reported on lizards. Combining Physics and Biology techniques (histology, optics, mass spectrometry, UV/Raman spectroscopy, mathematical modeling), they showed that the extensive variation of skin color and patterns in Phelsuma lizards (TOP PICTURE) is generated by precise co-localization of interacting pigmentary and nano-structural elements. And three days ago the group reported that chameleons (BOTTOM PICTURE) shift colour through active tuning of a lattice of guanine nanocrystals within a superficial thick layer of dermal iridophores. In addition, they showed that a deeper population of iridophores with larger crystals protect chameleons from excessive exposure to solar radiations by reflecting a large proportion of the sunlight power, especially in the near-infrared range.
If you are not into nano-crystals go to the lab's web pages and look at the videos of chameleons changing colour. You can get the fuller theory there too if you are geeky about this kind of thing.


blue-red lobster

When cooked the beautiful blue black lobster turns red. Why? The New York Times will tell you why.


Janos Schanda

CIE (Commission Internationale de l'Eclairage) reported today that Prof Schanda died yesterday. Janos, as he was known to everybody, was a prominent figure in CIE business and vision research. He received many honours one of which was the Colour Group's Newton Medal in 2010. You can see some photographs of Janos at the Newton Medal presentation in the album for March 2010 in the Colour Group Photo Albums (under the Miscellaneous tab above).

retinal section


The BBC News web pages report work done by Dr Erez Ribak from Technion, the Israel Institute of Technology. The finds are claimed to show that Mullers cells in the retina act like 'colour-sensitive' light pipes that help the eye discriminate colour. As all Colour Group members know, colour is more a mental construct than a property of a class of retinal cells, so you would be right to think the report is simplified. Have a look and judge for yourself.


The World seems to be going mad about a certain dress. In case you missed the fuss (is this possible?) get the background and a reasoned piece with the links below on why there is (was) a problem:

In addition to the links above, another Colour Group member has taken up The Dress challenge and offers a different interpretation for the differences of opinion about the colour of the bands on the dress. For the moment, it seems, you pays your money and takes your choice of explanation. Of course, this all bodes well for those working in visual science - there could be decades of research projects on colour-contrast of dresses, chromatic adaptation and so on. It only remains to convince the fashion industry that all this is of vital importance..
animated dress pattern

Perhaps colour contrast images like these on the left based on the dress pattern are a way to go for the would-be vision scientist.


Museum of Colours logo

The Museum of Colours, a newly formed European interest group pledged with similar aims to those of the Colour Group (GB), is now established in Berlin. It has just issued it's first Newsletter which will be of interest to Colour Group members. Its content is based upon the Museum's web pages which may be viewed via this link.



Françoise Vienot, Emeritus Professor, Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris, is to receive the Judd Award of the AIC, one of the highest awards for work in colour, at an international meeting in Tokyo in May this year. Françoise was awarded the Newton Medal of the Colour Group in April 2012 (review see page 9 Newsletter April 2012 Number 2012-04) and gave a lecture entitled The Novelty of Metameric LED White Lights



The Colour Group has agreed to present the 2015 Turner Medal Award to Carlos Cruz- Diez for his contribution to understandings of Colour through Art.
Carlos Cruz-Diez is a Venezuelan Artist living in Paris, born August 17, 1923 in Caracas, Venezuela, now aged 91
His nomination for the prize is based on his long standing career in the artist's use of pure colour in Art and in his Environmental Installations within public domain that include Light, Pigment and Movement. He published his book Colour in Time and Space to correspond with his exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston in 2011.
His exhibit in the Royal Academy's current Radical Geometry show reveals him to be still a leader and long-term practitioner in his field. His interest in 'Colour without Form', Kinetics, Printmaking, 3-dimensional Art, and his highly creative adaptation to digital printing seen in his more recent artworks shows how he is still constantly engaging with contemporary practice. It would be fitting recognition of all his achievements to be awarded the Colour Group Great Britain Turner Medal Award.
His work can be seen at the Mayor Gallery, 21 Cork Street, London W1S 3LZ.
The text below is from the RA Brochure for their current exhibition Radical Geometry.
"Carlos Cruz-Diez has pioneered the integration of colour, science and movement in art for over 60 years. His work includes paintings, huge projects in public spaces, and light installations (seen last year at the Hayward Gallery's Light Show). Cruz-Diez has four works in our exhibition Radical Geometry: Modern Art of South America from the Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Collection and has recently painted a 'dazzle ship' for the Liverpool Biennial.
On 4 July Carlos Cruz-Diez visited the Royal Academy to take part in a wide-ranging conversation with Dr. Joanne Harwood (University of Essex, Director of the Essex Collection of Art from Latin America (ESCALA)). He reflects upon his career, the unstable nature of colour, and his commitment to art that directly engages its viewers.
Excerpts from these discussions can be seen in 56 minute and 6 minute subtitled forms here.
Also, a short reflection on colour and form is here.

DATE 25 Mar 2015