Purple is an interesting color, lying between vibrant and attention-grabbing red and calm and cool blue on the color wheel. It is also known as the color of royalty because in ancient times only the rich and wealthy could afford to buy purple colored clothing. This was because the natural dye used to create the color was so rare that it made all purple-dyed fabrics very expensive. The royal purple dye was obtained from mucous secretions of a certain species of sea snails. Several thousands of snails were needed to produce just about one gram of purple dye.
It was not until the 17th century when an English chemist accidentally created a compound, while in the process of working with the horribly bitter-tasting anti-malaria drug- quinine; that purple became available to not just the rich. The 18 year old chemist had inadvertently created a synthetic purple dye that was easily affordable to many.
Purple is said to stimulate the problem-solving abilities of the brain. It is said to invoke curiosity and thus creativity. Colors in general do have an emotional effect on the viewer and purple has some pretty interesting effects on people. I once heard a fabric store owner speak at a conference and one of the things she said was that, purple was the fastest selling color in their inventory. As a result, they always arranged their display to showcase the purple fabrics in front.
Lighter tints of purple, lilac and lavender, are among my favorite colors. I decided to curate a dream collection of the SAQA benefit auction pieces. At the time, I wasn’t thinking about the color purple. However, going through all the art pieces multiple times, these are the pieces which spoke to me. Thus….. ‘The Purple Collection’, curated by Clara Nartey.
I encourage you to view all of the wonderful pieces in the SAQA 2014 Benefit Auction. Purchase a few for your personal collection to support SAQA. It is a worthy cause to support an organization that is intent on promoting and supporting textile artists and their art.
Below is my piece I created for this year’s auction.
Thanks for reading. What is your favorite color and how do you feel about the color purple. Leave your comments below.