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An artistic praxis: Phenomenological colour and embodied experience

Balabanoff, Doreen (2017) An artistic praxis: Phenomenological colour and embodied experience. Journal of the International Colour Association, 17. pp. 150-200. ISSN 2227-1309

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Abstract

Artistic knowledge resides within the works that a visual artist makes. . .Verbalising or discussing that
knowledge is a separate exercise, often left to others, who make their own interpretations and
investigations. In this introspective study of artworks spanning four decades, I look into and share insight
about a practice in which knowledge about colour, light and spatial experience was developed and
utilised. The process of action, reflection and new application of gained knowledge is understood as a
praxis—a practice aimed at creating change in the world. The lessons learned are about human
embodied experience of light, colour and darkness in spatial environments. The intent of the study (as
of the artwork) is enhancement of our capacities for creating sensitive and enlivening space for human
life experience and human flourishing, through understanding and use of colour and light as complex
environmental phenomena affecting our mind/body/psyche. Four themes arose from reflecting upon the
work. These are, in order of discussion: (1) Image and Emanation, (2) Resonance and Chord, (3)
Threshold and Veil, and (4) Projection, Reflection, Light and Time. My findings include affirmation that
a Goethian science (phenomenological, observational) approach to investigating and unconcealing tacit
knowledge—embedded in an artistic praxis and its outcomes—has value for developing a deeper
understanding of environmental colour and light. Such knowledge is important because environmental
design has impact upon our bodies, our minds and our life experience. This study points to areas of
import for further investigation: 1) a crucial aspect of environmental colour is its atmospheric, enveloping
nature—we not only look at, but we are immersed in light, colour and darkness. . .that is, in coloured
and modulated air and ambient light. . .and we resonate with its resonances; 2) the interwoven relations
of light-colour-darkness create emotive, embodied connection between our body/psyche and
architectural space; 3) sensitive colouring of the daylight entering our architectural spaces makes light’s
cycles and phenomenal expression in our buildings mor

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Faculty of Design
Date Deposited: 14 Feb 2017 16:57
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2017 03:27
URI: http://openresearch.ocadu.ca/id/eprint/399

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