Color. I don’t believe anyone can deny the fact that colors trigger emotions.
They can set the mood for an entire day, and as a painter I use them constantly to convey feelings. Although the meanings of colors do not translate throughout all cultures, we still are able to interpret them through feeling. During our time in Morocco shooting the December catalog, we saw hues and tints of colors we had never laid eyes on before. So vibrant and beautiful – they brought so much joy to us.
One afternoon while we were exploring the city and admiring the craftsmanship of the rugs, we met a man whose tribe was from the Sahara. His family resided in the desert while he traveled to the city for months at a time to sell the items they had made before returning home. He welcomed us into his store and taught us about his culture. While in his company, he shared with us the meaning of the colors used in his rugs, explaining that different regions of Morocco had different meanings behind the colors. In his tribe yellow meant to descend like the sun, orange was spiritual wealth, while red was royalty and happiness; all the colors of fall bringing us such positive reminders. White meant purity, which I feel is common among several cultures, black followed with age, maturity and masculinity. Green gave way to fertility, youth, and new life. One can only imagine the meanings behind all the varying shades of these colors, the way they popped out at you from the bags on the street. They demanded your attention and we brought some home to paint with.
Chefchaouen, known as the “Blue City”, didn’t happen overnight. Every morning I woke early — before the streets were filled with people — to find women washing the walls with large brushes of fresh blue pigment. One of those mornings the color took hold of my mood and suddenly I felt like I was walking through a dream. Was the man from the rug shop right? Was blue to mean no separation from ocean to sky but a continual train of thought and life? The positivity that accompanied this thought was so beautiful, just like everything around me, that all the other meanings I heard about the “Blue City” fell by the wayside.
+What meanings do you find in colors? Leave your thoughts in the comments!
Words and photographs by Melodi Meadows.