Getting out of the house to explore a local area, mindfully paying attention to the details of what you see, meeting up with other people with similar interests. All of these sound like good advice for living, but they are also the basic principals behind the new phenomena of the colour walk, a part-exhibition-part-ramble that started in New York but has moved to this side of the Atlantic too.
The concept of the colour walk began as the Manhattan Color Walk, a project started by The Color Factory, the team behind the immersive pop-up colour museum that started life in San Francisco. This summer they created an installation in the garden of the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum inspired by the colours of New York itself.
The Color Factory team walked over 50 miles, down 265 street, from the uppermost part of Manhattan at West 220th Street down to Battery Park. As they walked they noted and photographed pockets of colour that they saw – from signage to scaffolding to the foods and flowers outside local stores. The results were collated into a colour map of the city, and transposed into a sort of rainbow walkway in the gallery gardens.
Now this fun idea has travelled across the ocean to become an inclusive, social event. Run by In Colourful Company, colour walks are being organised in UK towns and cities as a way for creatives to get together, meet like-minded colour lovers and explore. Founder Toni Bee says, “I arranged the first Colour Walk because in all honesty I was feeling lonely. In Colourful Company came about to bring people together.”
Her colour walks involve members meeting in a town and taking a tour, often hosted by local creatives who can give an insider’s view of the best colourful pockets and creative spaces. The discoveries are shared on social media under the Incolourfulcompany hashtag. The tours offer community and company, as well as using colour as a platform for exploring a new area and even new skills or interests. As well as organised walks different towns also host regular socials (indoors!). If this sounds up your street then joining couldn’t be easier – get on those walking shoes, charge your iPhone, put on something suitably bright, and check out the next walks on their website.