An Alternative Colour Study: The Making of Khaki

Self Directed

BA, 2020 - 2021

This project was born from an innate curiosity and urge for experimental making within the world of colours and materials. In response to this, two colour studies run parallel to one another, united through their use of the same material, Play-Doh. Yet where one explores the default state of the mixed material, the other avenue re-imagines, taking it out of the context of its original play-state.

Initial experiments with Play-Doh opened up an exploration into colour mash-ups through a systematic method of mixing. Coupling a neon orange with a deep turquoise, after a few minutes of mixing in my hands, the colours are squidged into a whole new shade that doesn’t resemble the originals. Yet this bold mixology is unpredictable and requires confidence to embrace a result that creates a spectrum of greyed-off colours, or as suggested in an early iteration, ‘100 Shades of Khaki’. 


After experimenting with my own shades of khaki and understanding that the eventual state of mixed Play-Doh fell into this colour category, an interest in the subjectivity of the colour sparked. The Google definition states it as “a dull greenish or brownish yellow colour” and with this I began to send out letters of Play-Doh, asking you to create your interpretation of khaki. 


Within the videos of people mixing their khaki, intimate conversations took place around colour, a topic very rarely spoken about in the everyday and this soon became one of my most important points of research for the project. At this moment, the exploration into khaki sits as an on-going research topic around what people understand the colour to be whilst learning more and more about its significant history and projecting a future where we celebrate these muddier,


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