Meet an expert: The art of Colours
From textile to colours
Nice to meet you Dorte. Who are you?
I am a designer and a story-teller. I am currently holing the post of Vice-Chairman at the Danish Color Board. I have a good share of professional experience behing me, including in the luxury design industry. I graduated from The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts – Schools of Architecture, Design and Conservation (KADK).
I love to catch the moment with my camera and share it with others. I am curious about who we are and why we act as we do as human beings.
I live in Copenhagen, Denmark. I am a mother of two lovely girls and I believe that life is too short to fool around doing things you do not like. I see the world as a global amazing playground, colourful and inspiring.
“I was educated as a tailor and a textile designer. The colours, shapes and materials have been at the centre of my attention, always.”
A JOB OF COLOURS
Sounds amazing, tell us more!
After years of working as a textile designer, I realised that colours were an essential aspect of the creation. They can structure a collection and makes the whole difference. My vision has expanded with story telling through art photography. Being able to catch the moment where the light, the shadow, and the colours come together in a perfect harmony is so powerful. I capture these moments to make sure they remain as memory and a source of inspiration – that is what I call, “the power of colours”.
I see it as an overall headline, as if colours and light would combine and tell a story. Why not listen when it is all around us? I work hard to reach the perfect harmonies with colours. When I find the “perfect” combination, it clicks and everything makes sense. It is so satisfying. With my camera, I catch moments of colours and light combinations, which I later use to translate into colour stories. This is my mission in life.
HOW I TELL A STORY [Photography by Dorte Lenau Klint]
I WAS RED
What is your earliest memory on colours?
Growing up with three siblings, colours were given to my brothers and me from our parents, in order to avoid arguments.
We were associated with a specific colour, which were then tagged on our towels, toothbrush, mugs etc. My colour was red, as I was the only girl. But even then my favourite colour was blue.
MY FAVORITE SEAWEED [Photography by Dorte Lenau Klint]
I have a very strong second memory. When I was about 5 years old, my mother had the most beautiful dress made by a tailor. I remember very clearly looking through the material and colour books from Paris, fascinated by all the colours.
My childhood was all about colours and storytelling. My mother had a thing with weekdays and colours; such as Monday was blue, Wednesday was yellow and so forth. Just the thought that colours could be more than just a colour fascinated me, even though I did not understand it.
BLUE WHITE RED!
How have colours influenced your life?
It feels like a natural thing. Colours are everywhere; from the symphony of colours you get while cooking, the colours in my own home and what I choose to wear. Colours have the power to express a mood and influence you experience life itself.
Colours are essential in my private as well as in my professional spheres. I have been forever obsessed with the coordination and play of colours, and how they express themselves apart, and together. As long as I can remember it has always been at the centre of my focus. At school I coordinated the colours of my cloth everyday. Regardless of the colours itself, my focus was always on the story I was trying to tell through the colour combination. At 12, I decided to dress like the French flag, so I choose clothes in red, blue and white. Voila!
SKY IS THE LIMIT [Photography by Dorte Lenau Klint]
SHADES OF RED [Photography by Dorte Lenau Klint]
THE COLOUR PALETTE OF NATURE [Photography by Dorte Lenau Klint]
Do you think there are cultural aspects to colours?
If a colour had a voice what would it say? It all depends on the eyes of the beholder – so yes, I do believe that there is a cultural aspect to colours as well as language and attitudes.
Our history and traditions affect our choices. There is a predetermination in which will be your favourite colour and it’s meaning to you depending on where you were raised.
Living in Denmark, gave me a strong attraction to the cold colour palette, which have greatly influenced the way I décor my home and my personal taste.
However, traveling South, East and West inspires me to look at colour combination in a different way. I let the space for new palettes in my perception of the world.
FROM TEXTILE TO COLOURS
On your work journey, how did you become a specialist in colours?
“Colours not only express your mood but they can amplify your message.”
I was educated as a tailor and a textile designer. The colours, shapes and materials have been at the centre of my attention, always. I consider that originality and creativity take life through craftsmanship.
My fascination for colours combination really came in the forefront after I lived in Paris in France and Bologna in Italia.
I realise how you can tell so much when mixing the right colours shades together and how hues are a reflection of the world around us. Colours not only express your mood but they can amplify your message.
BLUE, ALWAYS BLUE
Do you think it makes senses to be asked what your favourite colour is?
Yes it does. I think we have seasonal favourites, which come and go. And, deeply rooted, we have a constant favourite colour. So yes, it totally makes sense.
For me, blue is not just blue. It is a colour that gives light and casts shadows, that is why this colour is so essential to me.
What is the Danish Colour Board?
DCB is a non-profit organisation for professional colour enthusiasts – we meet twice a year to create our colour forecast two years ahead. DCB is a member of Intercolour (intercolour.nu) that was established in Paris in 1963. Sixteen countries come together and exchange about colours. Members originate from very different fields: from textile designers to anthropologists, interior decorators, trend forecasters, graphic designers and architects. Together we reach consortium and we have fun while doing it.
THE GREAT MASTERS OF COLOURS
When it comes to colours, who are your favourite artists?
The old colour palette from wallpaper from the 50s has always fascinated me. The hues are deep and remind me of how craftsmanship was all about handmade original creations.
Besides this, I am a huge fan of William Turner for his blending of colours, Carsten Frank for the energy of his blurred tones, and William LaChance for his colour blocking and the naivety, which stems from it.
Join the world of Dorte
“My mission in life: capture this perfect moment when colours and light fusion together”.