In 2005 I installed seven large red balls on Grasmere in the Lake District. I liked the colour red before then or course, but for me that piece changed the way I look at the colour in the landscape, and in art in general.
It was said that Constable and Turner would compete with each other at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition. Constable would do outrageous things like add a blob of red to a painting just before hanging. (oh! the rebel).
My first car was red.
Red is a lucky colour in China. In the ’80s the first traffic lights appeared in Beijing causing much chaos – why should cars stop at red lights? It’s a lucky colour.
The installation on Grasmere worked as the red balls filled a gap in the palette of the landscape. In this way the colour works as a visual accent adding a focal point or point of reference within the landscape.
There something about scale and colour I find interesting. Same as intense coloured environments such as Olafur Eliasson’s ‘Weather Project’ installation in the Tate Turbine Hall, and Annette Messager’s ‘Casino’ at the 2005 Venice Biennale. These installations, as well as the immense ‘Marsyas’ piece by Kapoor, have in their own way helped influence my attitude towards space and place through colour.
Eliasson used specific use of the colour in his 2007 Serpentine Pavilion, although not to the extent of Jean Nouvel in 2010. Nouvel making great use of the variety of green within Hyde Park with which to juxtapose his rhapsody of colour.