Layers of Blue Layers - Sampsa Pirtola and Laura Summer
installation at Lightforms Art Center July-September 2021
What is it to make blue together? Is that task more difficult if each person is on a different side of an ocean? What language does blue speak? What medium would be best?
We have done collaborations before on subjects such as “What is Collaboration?” “What is Death?” “What is Initiation?” Having learned to speak each other’s artistic language, blue seemed easy at the beginning.
Blue is the color that is said to be the last to be spoken of among different cultures. It is not clear whether people did not actually see the color blue, or was there just not a word for it. The ancient Egyptians started to work with the color blue early on and regarded it as highly valuable - they even used it to decorate the tombs of their pharaohs. But why did the Ancient Greek poet, Homer, not describe the ocean in the Odyssey as some tone of blue, but rather called it the color of dark wine?
Could this be an example, for those of us who do not see beyond the physical realm, that something that is very obvious and in front of us - like the color blue - we do not "see" yet - as we do not have the word and concept for it.
In the installation Layers of Blue Layers we worked with the question of the layers and tones of blue, but also what is "blue movement" and "blue form". While working on the installation, we realized that at times even though there is blue color, the movement is still more like yellow.
The installation also speaks to the layers of life. What are all the experiences that are influencing us in any moment? How do we influence each other?
"The true person is; Not anyone in particular; But like the deep blue color; Of the limitless sky, it is everyone, everywhere in the world."
― Dōgen, 'The True Person.'
"We all have one idea of what the color blue is, but pressed to describe it specifically, there are so many ways: the ocean, lapis lazuli, the sky, someone's eyes. Our definitions are as different as we are ourselves."
― Sarah Dessen.
"Blue is the only color which maintains its own character in all its tones. It will always stay blue."
— Raoul Dufy.
"The sun is up, the sky is blue; It's beautiful, and so are you."
― John Lennon,
"I never get tired of the blue sky."
― Vincent Van Gogh.
"How sweet to be a Cloud. Floating in the Blue!"
"Blue suggests the sea and sky, and they, after all, are in actual, visible nature what is most abstract."
― Yves Klein.
"Almost without exception, blue refers to the domain of abstraction and immateriality."
― Wassily Kandinsky.