- 23 Nov 2017
Wkochi has a chat with Susan Mathen about her latest work ‘Blue Latte’ at Ledhi Art Gallery
Susan Mathen, founder and colour strategist at Hue & Why along with George Abraham, Partner and Creative Director at Hue & Why, presented her artworks at Ledhi cafe named ‘Blue Latte’. They studies the colours in cultures (ancient and contemporary) and apply the same to design, branding, interiors, weddings, fashion and psychology.
How did you get into the world of arts?
I am an alumnus of Shri Ram College of Commerce and Mudra Institute of Communications, Ahmedabad, so colours were not the natural career choice. I was in advertising for over ten years and I stumbled upon colours during a sabbatical I took, where I did a one year course in Arts Management at Dakshina Chitra, Chennai. After that I continued my research on colour for many years, while working in the corporate world.
Is this your full time profession?
I am working as a colour strategist full time since the past six months. Prior to this, I was working in Singapore as the regional strategy lead for a P&G brand at Grey Advertising, handling the South East Asia and India markets. Today, I am a certified colour strategist and we are a member of the Colour Marketing Group (CMG), the global authority on colour.
You have used colours to tell a story in the exhibition. How did this idea come up to you?
Blue Latte is a curated art exhibition that we have created, in order to bring alive four colour trends and corresponding colour palettes that Hue & Why had identified and presented at a global Colour Forecasting forum after a year long research. We identify colour trends and palettes as a part of our colour forecasting work. This year, we thought of translating these colour stories into paintings. This art show is an experiment of sorts.
Why the name Blue Latte?
We chose the name Blue Latte, because it is a new trend in coffees (a blue coloured coffee made from a type of algae), and usually coffee shops are where a lot of contemporary discussions happen. So we thought it would be a good name for a show where we discuss contemporary cultural narratives.
How has the response been from the audience?
The response has been good. We have had a lot of visitors for our show and several participants for the curator’s walk sessions and lectures we conducted on a weekly basis. I think using Colour Palettes and Cultural Trends is a very new approach, so people take a while to understand it completely, but once they do they seem as excited about it as we are. A lot of visitors have been very interactive, asking a lot of questions and trying to understand what we do.
What is the major concept that you have focussed in Blue Latte?
As I mentioned, in Blue Latte, we have focused on four cultural narratives. Each narrative is represented as a colour palette and using these colour palettes we have created a series of paintings. The Roosegarde Narrative talks about how in a world full of pollution, looking spotlessly clean has become aspirational. The Julieta Narrative talks about how people are fed up of the extremely filtered, very perfect world of social media, and are trying to be more uninhibited, real, raw, imperfect, and honest.The Chuski Pop Narrative talks about the fourth wave of feminism in India, where the women are very strong, yet fun and intelligent.The Slow Narrative talks about how people are trying to escape the chaos of the city life and are attempting to slow down and relax.
The exhibition started on November 1 and will conclude on November 30.
Text: Nikhil Wilson Images: Susan Mathen