24 Aug

The Story of Red

Week 19 - More poppies
Week 18 – More Poppies. From the 52 weeks self portrait series.

From the inside cover of Boris’ little red pocket notebook:

Red is one of the few colours – along with white and black – found in every language known to humankind. Red is the colour of fire, the colour of blood, the colour of life.

Red can be found in the oldest artworks on Earth, the Stone Age cave paintings of Southern France. Cave-dwellers mined red ochre and crushed it to create a pigment that has not lost its lustre in 30,000 years.

Derived from the ancient Sanskrit word for blood, “rhudira”, red was believed to prevent evil and disease. Warriors painted their axes red. Scottish farmers tied red string around the necks of their oxen. Ancient Egyptians immersed themselves in vats of red.

In Asia, red is the colour of luck and prosperity. Chinese brides wear red. Hindu women put red bindis on their foreheads. Red is the first colour noticed by babies, the favorite colour of children, the most popular colour on national flags.

Red is the colour of passion and love. A zest for life. A craving for excess. It is no myth that red is exciting. Just looking at red will increase the blood pressure, stimulate adrenaline and speed up the pulse. See what happens when you think in red.

Red is my favorite colour. 🙂

© Rachael Ashe