Colour: what do you mean by that?

Colour Call Image3

An exhibition exploring colour as a phenomenon that crosses the boundaries of the arts and sciences.

Artists and designers revel in, and seek to understand, the visceral, physical and ephemeral qualities of colour. Sir Isaac Newton began his scientific experiments with light and prisms as ‘a very pleasing divertisement, to view the vivid and intense colours produced thereby’. His investigations ultimately changed our understanding of the fundamental nature of light and colour. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe challenged Newton's understanding as limited, and introduced colour as an emotionally charged phenomenon. He proposed an alternative methodological approach based on 'empathic observation'.

Colour: What Do You Mean By That? calls for art inspired by, or questioning scientific concepts about colour: art that encapsulates colour knowledge from multiple perspectives.

We are not looking for the merely colourful – rather we look for work engaging ideas, theories and aspects of colour – both conceptual and physical – that highlight colour knowledge as richly meaningful across diverse ways of knowing.

To this end, we invite proposals that present, consider, or respond to research about colour and colour phenomena. Work may relate to:

  • physical colour phenomena, e.g. light sources, interference, iridescence, scattering, reflection
  • chemistry of dyes & pigments
  • colour vision / colour perception
  • colour renderings of energies outside of the visible spectrum (ultraviolet, infra-red, etc.)
  • colour meanings (cultural, scientific, philosophical)
  • cross-sensory colour sensations and understandings
  • colour theories
  • colour histories

Show dates: March 7-25, 2018.

Colour: What do you mean by that? is jointly sponsored by Propeller Gallery and the Colour Research Society of Canada

Show location: Propeller Gallery, 30 Abell St, Toronto

Submission deadline: Wed Jan 17, 2018, 11:59pm

Submit your application here:

Submission Requirements:

You may submit more than one submission, provided the concept is substantially different for each piece, with a maximum of three submissions. With each submission, please provide at least one image (maximum 4 images) relevant to your proposal.

Details about yourself and your work including:

  • Name, address, email, phone number, with a brief bio.
  • Title of Work, Year, Medium, Size and Value in $CAD.
  • A brief written statement about the work, including how the work deals with, or draws its inspiration from, diverse ways of knowing about colour (max. 150 words).
  • Non-refundable submission fee of $50.00 per submission.

Curatorial Team Members: Doreen Balabanoff, Robin Kingsburgh, Janet Read, Judith Tinkl

Additional Information:

  • 25% commission collected on any work sold as a result of this exhibition.
  • For more information visit our website:
  • If selected, you agree to allow us to use your submission material, without compensation, in any potential catalogue/publication for this exhibition.
  • Selected artists will be contacted by email not later than January 31. Delivery instructions will be given at that time.
  • An event at the exhibition, related to International Colour Day, March 21st, will be announced in early 2018.

Please direct inquiries to:
Nathan Heuvingh
Gallery Director
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Twitter: @PropellerTO 
Instagram: @propellerygallery_to

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Canadian member of the International Colour Association