More Colour Please

I have written before about colour (or the lack of it) but recently there has been a public debate on the observation of the greying of our suburban roofs.

Apparently this ‘Stuff’ editorial even reached Australia.

A fellow in his 90s rang me last week to say the Wellington suburb he had lived in for many years was getting ‘greyer and greyer’. Ironic that he wasn’t talking about his hair, but the environment outside his home.

So why this sea of grey in our suburbs, some of which resemble groups of turtles grazing in a field?

The suburbs used to have coloured roofs of tasteful blues, red-browns, and greens as this nostalgic work by artist Dick Frizzell shows.

The disappearance of coloured roofs is very depressing.

Colour is cheerful. It is well known that supermarkets put their fruit and vegetables at the beginning of the store, to get people in the mood to shop.  Colour in our language is linked to mood: ‘feeling blue’, ‘seeing red’, ‘green with envy’ are phrases in common use.

Billy Connolly famously said that ‘some people think black and white are colours’

The bigger worry is that the disappearance of colour is indicative in a change of our collective personalities. We are under enormous pressure to conform in our behaviour with less and less ‘space’ to express our individuality.

Nowadays we comply with the expectations of our job descriptions, we dress and talk conservatively. We have so many regulatory ‘box ticking’, compliance and behaviour constraints to deal with. We worry about diet, family dynamics, exercise, money and health.

Is it any wonder that our historic ’she’ll be right’ relaxed way of life is under threat.

She’s not in fact, right?

Are we becoming so anxious that we regard colour as some sort of a threat?  Famous Italian towns like Positano, Portofino and Cinque Terre celebrate colour, and the tourists flock there.

As a lover of colour, which I believe can cheer us up and stimulate our mood, I wonder how to promote it.

What do others think?

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