Despite being the one to suggest the Theme of Colour for Tara Cain's Gallery this week, I found it all too easy to succumb to taking a picture of the millions of colourful toys littering the lounge, or the green grass outside or whatever.
Then a very lengthy life-story email to someone who unwittingly is becoming one of the best friends I ever had, made me have a second think about colour. The email reminded me of all sorts of things related to colour. Sadly, not in a good way, but certainly in a way that would make you sit the hell up and think.
Just the word, "colour", hits a nerve for me. It's something I've had to deal with all my life. Sure we ALL deal with it in some way, but funnily enough, for me it's been more of an issue than anything else.
Growing up as a cellist, people used to ask me "What's it like being a black cellist?" "What's it like being the only black person in an orchestra?" "Those coloured people in the audience, do you know them? Are they your family?"
My friends, mostly white and Asian, would see other black people on the street and (genuinely) say "look, that's your brother isn't it?" "I was out shopping the other day and I saw this black girl and thought it was you" "I think I saw your sister the other day, that coloured girl who works in that shop?"
You couldn't make this shit up.
Oddly, the one thing that bothers me most in that last paragraph, is being called "coloured". I'm going to ask you to stop and have a think, before you label someone coloured. And what I'd like you to think about is this.
When you're ill, you're green.
When you're embarassed, you're red.
When you're cold you're blue.
When you've been on the tanning spray you're orange.
When you're dead you're grey.
When you're asphyxiated you're purple.
When you're jaundiced you're yellow.
When you're terrified you're white.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't there just about all the colours of the rainbow in there?
Me? I stay black. Or "brown", if you REALLY want to be PC. I go slightly darker if I stay out in the sun. And I become - yes. Another shade of brown.
So more often than not, when I look at the people around me, I don't see colour. Not in that sense. My husband is "white". My in-laws are "white". I am "black". My great grandmother was asian ("yellow").
So here is my Gallery Contribution.
It's a little lame. But I don't always see colour. I'd like to think I see much, much more.
Labels: The Gallery