08 January 2020  
City University London, EC1V 0HB
The traditional January meeting

PIGMENTS: From the Ground Up
02 October 2019  

David Dobson, from UCL, told us about minerals and his search for iron and copper minerals in particular which yield a range of colours but especially blue. It turned out he is a Blue Hunter.
Onya McCausland is also a searcher but seeking out the waters pumped from old closed mines. The water contains minerals, especially ochre, that from each mine being a different colour. She is a brown hunter.

AGM, R W G Hunt Tribute and Valedictory Lecture - Royal Colours and Standards
Wednesday 01 May 2019  
City University London, EC1V 0HB

At the AGM the usual formal stuff was progressed raplidly to get to the welcoming of the new chairperson, Marina Bloj (on the left in the photo wearing the Chairman's Jewel) by the retiring chairperson, Elza Tantcheva-Burdge (on the right).

There followed a review of the life and work of Robert Hunt (1923-2018), a founder member of the Colour Group, by Mike Pointer. The image below shows Mike on the left and Elza on the right with an image of Bob Hunt in the middle.

Two chairmen
Bob, Mike and E;za
The meeting concluded with the retiring chairperson, Elza, delivering her valedictory lecture on Royal Colours. She started with red and blue and then via blue and gold reached the fascinating history of lapis and Royal Blue and the science based on this and the modern realisation by pigment manufacturers of this Royal Blue. Not all attempts at recreating this blue had been successful. The afternoon ended with the last Halstead-Grenville Tea of the season which was more sumptuous than usual.
Gold and blue

Neuroscience, Colour and the Visual Arts
Wednesday 03 April 2019 
City University London, EC1V 0HB

Anyan and Gordon
The photo shows Chairman Anya Hurlbert and organiser Gordon Plant at the sell-out meeting bathed in a beautiful blue. The meeting was anything but blue and is the first of what is promised as a regular series focussed on this Neuroscience, Colour and the Visual Arts .

Thursday 21 March 2019 
City University London, EC1V 0HB

Gayna one

The tour was a full house and started in the crowded and chaotic entrance hall of the National Gallery with members trying to find one another and when this had been done our guide, the art historian, lecturer and artist Gayna Pelham found us. She promised to help us explore how colours had been used by artists across the centuries.  She certainly did this and her enthusiasm was infective. So fascinating was the material and the way it was covered, the tour well exceeded the allotted time even though pigment and paint developments from the artists' point of view had to stop before the 19th century. Time had more than run out.
Full of talk and discussion about the tour members retired to the Gallery Cafe for the Halstead-Granville Tea.
The top picture shows Gayna describing the aerial perspective in a portable tryptich and that below answering questions in front of the The Ambassadors by Hans Holbein the Younger.

Gayna 2

Monday to Wednesday 25 - 27 February 2019 
BFI, Southbank London, NFT3 (and Blue Room)

Fig 3
This year's conference, a joint project co-organised by the Colour Group (GB), HTW – University of Applied Sciences, Berlin and ERC Advanced Grant FilmColors, University of Zurich, in collaboration with The British Film Institute (BFI), attracted nearly 100 participants from a record twenty countries, including Australia, Austria, Argentina, Belgium, The Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, The Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, the UK and the USA. Equally international was the group of twelve speakers. They came from far and wide – Australia, Austria, Argentina, Belgium, Chech Republic, Germany, Italy Japan, Norway, Switzerland, UK and USA. The topics that they covered varied from aesthetics through fashion to completely technical and scientific topics concerning the conservation, restoration and digitalising of historic film stock. There were two Keynote speakers. Tom Gunning, from the University of Chicago, examined the aesthetics of colour in film, but also touched on the assistance that colour science can give to the technical side of the production of those aesthetics. David Foster, from the University of Manchester, who was also the Colour Group Keynote speaker, elucidated the concerns of colour representation in captured scenes.
[Images: TOP - Image courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox Studio Records, BOTTOM - Parisian Inspirations in Color courtesy of the George Eastman Museum]
Fig 4


CRSLtd logo BFI Logo digitalart logo  


Progress in Colour Studies

I t's time for the next PICS in June 2020. It will be in Tallinn, Estonia, and you can find out more about it here.

Is White a Colour? Beetle News

OK it's a well know conundrum question but check out the latest on the best white ever that was inspired by Cyphochilus beetles in Nature Communications Chemistry and the research behind it.

Prof Robert Fletcher has died, aged 94
Bob Fletcher w

Prof Fletcher, former Chairman of the CG(GB), was associated with City University and its predecessors for 74 years. He taught thousands of students and was particularly noted for his humane and considerate care of them and of all he came into contact with. He is perhaps known best to the world outside optometry as the author of the City University Colour Vision test. He authored over 15 textbooks. and it was his influence that led to the association of the CG(GB) with City where most meetings are held.
A fuller obituary is from the College of Optometrists.

Carlos Cruz-Diez died 28 July 2019 aged 95

W e learnt the sad news that Carlos died yesterday. Many members will remember his Turner Medal Lecture from 2015. More detaills here from Le Monde and on the In Memoriam web page..

Global Colour and the Moving Image
Conference at the University of Bristol
10-12 July 2019 Logo

T en years on from the Colour and the Moving Image conference in Bristol, the study of film colour has grown impressively. While the majority of research has been undertaken on early 20th century colour processes, far less is known about the introduction and application of colour technologies from the second half of the 20th century onwards.
This conference will explore how colour film has operated in relation to different countries and contexts since the 1950s.

superman tv 1953

TATE ETC: 40 - Colour - the unruly child

T he history of colour since WWII will provoke nostalgia in the more senior CG(GB) members but may also interest those less challenged in years. Read more about this at TATE ETC.


pigment librry

A fascinating video from Tom Scott, who visits the Forbes Pigment Collection at the Harvard Art Museums in the US is available at the March Physics World online website. It is a fact-filled tour of the many different paints and pigments that have been used by artist's through the ages.


P Penguin Y ou could be foregiven for thinking this is not possible but think of irridescent beetles and oil films on water. Two reports in Physics World explain the strange looking Pennsylvania Penguin in the image here and also how colour can arise from nano-structure of alloys.



Y ou could try reading the piece in the onineWired as a refresher on colour vision mechanisms with lots of cutsie journalism included to make the science softer. The question is, of course, what has a sweetie dispenser to do with it? Read on and find out.

Q Blue


T he latest stab at a more 'intense' blue has been made by scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in northern California, working with artist Olga Alexopoulou and color researcher Maria Chatzidakis. They have made strides towards developing a new, high-tech pigment dubbed "Quantum Blue."Check it out!



T he news that Robert Hunt OBE , a founder member of the Colour Group and Chairman 1961-1963, died in October saddened members of the Group as well as many in the World concerned with colour. In 1946 he joined the Research Laboratories of Kodak Limited at Harrow and eventually became Assistant Director of Research before retiring in 1982 to become a private consultant. Born in 1923, after a long, full and fulfilling life, Robert Hunt died in Salisbury District Hospital following a short illness.

cc uk


T he Colour Collective in Newcastle kicks off their winter programme with an event entitled The Private Life of Colour at 17.15 in the evening on 19 September at Newcastle University. Speakers are Derek Brown, Joe Crutwell and David Simmons. You may read more about the event and book tickets here.

Queens silks


I guess we all know jockeys on race horses wear coloured tunics (pictured here are the Queen's registered silks) - but what was the origin of all these colours? Thanks to the Daily Mail we know a bit more:

Racing silks first appeared in Britain in 1515 when Henry VIII was on the throne. The frequency of race meetings and the number of horses in each race led to confusion, so in 1762, the English Jockey Club at Newmarket requested that owners submit specific colours for their jacket and cap. There are 18 basic colours that can be used in conjunction with 27 jackets and nine cap designs. Shapes and patterns may also be used, such as checks, diamonds, cross-belts, crosses and circles, together with epaulets and braiding. However, the jockey's breeches must always be white. To ensure the design is unique and has not been assigned to someone else, racehorse owners have to register their chosen design of silks with the Jockey Club and Weatherbys.... Colours can be registered for a year, five years, ten years or life. Unlike horses' names, they can be taken by someone else if you cancel your registration. If the owner has more than one horse in the same race, the jockeys wear different coloured cap covers to avoid confusion. Steve Woods, King's Lynn, Norfolk. The Daily Mail, 10 May, 2018.

DATE 16 Sept 2019