Join us to hear from speakers across visual arts and science for the closing event of the Colour Snap exhibition. Each speaker will bring a different perspective to the conversation on colour with several 10-15 minute talks. The short talks will touch on topics including Albers interaction of colour, colour purity, colour from an anthropological perspective and more.

Afterwards there will be an opportunity to ask questions.


3.45pm – Arrive and take seats

4.00pm – Five short talks and panel discussion

6.15pm – Drinks and opportunity to see the exhibition

7.00pm Close

Booking is essential

If you have any questions, please email

Five Talks

Material Colour

Anna Ray, artist, currently exhibiting as part of Colour Snap

Anna Ray will speak about her use of colour in key works from the last twenty years of her art practice. She will highlight key influences and describe her experience of working with colour in thread, cloth, photography and mixed-media.

Colour perception, an unfinished science

Dr Philip Lucas, Reader in Astrophysics in the School of Physics, Astronomy and Mathematics, Centre for Astrophysics Research, University of Hertfordshire

Colour is a very deep subject, attracting artists, psychologists biologists, physicists and marketing agencies. How we perceive colour is a subtle business that should probably be given greater prominence in university curricula than it currently has. Phil will take a look at how "real" physically different colours actually are, and how much they are a matter of perception and biology. Finally, touching on choices of colour that scientists, and marketers, make in order to better convey information or sell their products.

Anthropology and Colour

Dr Alana Jelinek, VC Research Fellow | Research Group Leader - Theorising Visual Art and Design (TVAD, School of Creative Arts, University of Hertfordshire

Alana will talk about the cultural implications of colour and how anthropologists in the nineteenth century attempted to use colour perception to define 'race' only to fail in their attempt.

Purity - Why Are There No Brown Lasers?

Professor William Martin, School of Physics, Astronomy and Mathematics, University of Hertfordshire

Pure colours are found in nature relatively infrequently but are often spectacular, sunsets, rainbows, but not the blue of the sky.  This short talk outlines how physicists and astronomers view colour purity of light and how very pure colours, i.e. from lasers, leds, can be described.  Colour measurements of scattering surfaces, painting and printing are more difficult to describe. Generating and observing the colour brown will illustrate many of the aspects of colour purity beginning with black and white.

The delight and surprise of colour Interaction

Michael Wright, artist and Senior Lecturer on the BA Hons Fine Art, School of Creative Arts, University of Hertfordshire

Michael will be introducing some of artist’s Joseph Albers seminal observations in his ground breaking volume entitled 'The Interaction of Colour'. He will go onto look at key examples of colour effects and interactions, based on observations of optical colour mixing, colour harmonics and the subtle effects and influence of colours when juxtaposed.