Viewpoint Colour #6

RISE UP

Should we feel inspired or humbled that it is schoolchildren who have pushed the climate crisis to the top of the international agenda? Both. It is well over a decade since the 2006 film An Inconvenient Truth set out the uncomfortable facts about environmental changes – and there have been many other warnings, both before and since. Yet we have proved unwilling to inconvenience ourselves. Faced with this lack of impetus and will, young people are demanding action, and demanding it now.

Their sense of urgency, couched with energy, inclusivity and humour, is infectious. Extinction Rebellion is one of the loudest voices urging us to rebel for life – to take action, right now. And the creative community is responding, not just in terms of setting its own house in order but also by spreading a clear, unambiguous message to the world. In our feature on The Colours of Resistance, we look at the roles of colour and design in galvanising protest and lending it a clear sense of identity and purpose.

The playful creativity at the heart of this explosion of youthful protest is fast-moving and responsive, equally attuned to the new age of direct action and to the era of social media. And it is largely self-generated. While the arts are being squeezed out of the school curriculum, today’s young people have grown up with tools that enable them to create and to communicate, and we should encourage and facilitate this. Throughout this issue you’ll find heartening examples of organisations doing just that.

Rise Up: The Context

Children are the revolution. We have known for a long time that our planet’s climate is in serious trouble. But it is children who have finally dragged climate change right to the top of the international agenda.

Rise Up: Colour Forecast

Our four stories for A/W 20/21. ‘Makeshift’ – an assemblage aesthetic that celebrates the beauty of everyday materiality; ‘Vibrant Rebellion’ – frenetic, expressive and unapologetic, a rabble-rousing design direction and a call to action; ‘Eclectic Folk’ – crafted and eclectic, a politically savvy generation of eco-activists revisits the peace and love movement of the 1960s; and ‘Raw Craft’ – this design direction, grounded in rustic crafts, celebrates the unique irregularity of natural materials.

Visual Essay: Wild Child

The Villa Noailles art centre offers workshops for children and teenagers that link artistic endeavours to play. Putting their imaginations to work, the children design and proudly wear their creations – uniforms for the new eco-age.

Rise Up: Co-designing Colour

Co-design is a powerful force for creativity and collaboration, particularly when it incorporates the freedom, expression and imagination of children.

The Colours of Resistance

We look at the roles of colour and design in galvanising protest and lending it a clear sense of identity and purpose. From fiery reds and feminine pinks to sea blue, forest green and deepest black, colour is political.

Colour Inspiration: Peace Paint

Smudged, smeared and sprayed, a rainbow of bright pigment is thickly layered in unrefined textures as the skin becomes a canvas for expression.

Visual Essay (2): Going Off-Grid

Working with the landscape and its changing flora and fauna is fundamental to a lifestyle that embraces the changing patina, wear and organic materiality of a remote world.

Studio Visit: Store – A piece of the Future

As arts education is squeezed from the syllabus at every level, Store, the organisation behind Store Store, is promoting access, openness and inclusivity in creative education.

Colour Forecast: Water States

An exploration of water as an agent of co-design results in abstracted, ethereal textures in an unexpected palette of dirty hues.