Lecture on Colour at Port Regis Prep

Director of Mission and Ethos, Mrs Jacintha Bowe recently gave a talk on colours, their origins and the stories associated with them at Port Regis School.

Mrs Bowe opened her talk on the subject of the colour Ochre, its link with sacred ceremonies of the aborigines, who daubed it on their body, red ochre containing lead, and its associations with magnetic North.  She delighted the young crowd by explaining how Mummy Brown had once been extracted from real mummies, and went on to explain how the ‘black market’ developed from the sale of the colour black, which the Spanish had developed from logwood.  She spokes about the importance of a permanent black in the legal profession for the keeping of registers and certificates as proof of marriage, for example.

As well as touching on the relationship between colours and their abilities to reflect or absorb light (and explaining that in China White is the colour associated with death because it reflects all the colours away from it, so its heart must be black) Mrs Bowe provided some more startling facts about the how, historically, White and Green were fixed using a poison, resulting in unpleasant deaths for those who put the colours on their faces or in wallpapers!

The Port Regis students were suitably horrified and entertained, and had plenty of questions for Mrs Bowe at the end of the talk!