THE FLEETING FEELING OF COLOURS
Sensing nature, keeping a colour-diary and constantly relating to the vibrations of different hues. Those are some of the basic principles behind Danish colour-designer Margrethe Odgaard’s daily work.
IF THERE´S A HEADWIND, I´M HAPPY
My childhood in Jutland, close to the North Sea, is deeply anchored in me. Up there the weather is very unpredictable. It really suits my personality.
I thrive being reminded of how small, how insignificant I am versus nature. Yet knowing I can make a tiny difference. The tension between these two poles is where I do my best work.
WHERE I GREW UP, WE HAD 140 SHEEP
My mother, my grandmother combed the wool, spun it, we had a spindle and everything. Today it seems like I almost collaborate with my childhood. Growing up close to the nature, with the crops and the sheep. Working with the plaids is working with my roots. Sheep is outside in all weather, protected by its wool.
A plaid has the same function, keeping us warm. But it is also a shield against the dark and the cold, something we wrap ourselves in.
LIKE THE SHEEP IN THE FIELD, WE CARRY THE PLAID ON OUR SHOULDERS. IT´S AN ENTIRETY.
THE FEELING OF INSIGNIFICANCE IS PART OF MY WORK
But more importantly is the human.
I try to create products bringing value to everyday life. Being a human is a struggle, for good or for bad, and I wish to make a positive difference. Seeing your neighbour, making them feel cared for, is a central value in my designs.
I was quite young when I decided I wanted to be a colour-designer. It’s a fleeting area, colours. They touch upon light and feelings and culture. Again, I chose to concentrate on the human. As a designer you express yourself through a material. And just like the artist, you ask a question. But then the designer always comes with an answer.
I HAVE WORKED WITH COLOURS FOR OVER 20 YEARS
And I’m closing in on what truly interests me. How colours affect our mind and our senses. How colours can add value to our surroundings.
Colours are complex and diffuse. There’s lot’s of research, but only little evidence. Colours are energies; they are refractions of light on a surface. We must end our perception of colours as pretty or ugly or pure decoration.
AS HUMANS WE LIKE CONTROL, CERTAINTY, KNOWLEDGE. BUT WHEN YOU WORK WITH COLOURS YOU MUST ACCEPT THAT NOTHING IS SET IN STONE.
COLOURS BRING FEELINGS IN TO OUR HOMES
Lately I have worked a lot with the Nordic colours. I have lived in Northern America, in India, in Paris, and I kept a colour-diary all along. There are some absolute truths about colours. But there are also cultural differences, because the light varies. It depends on the nature, the climate, if there are mountains or water close by.
As humans we like control, certainty, knowledge. But when you work with colours you must accept that nothing is set in stone. And that brings us back to that tiny person on the shores of the North Sea. That place where you realize that nature is always the strongest. And that the only way to navigate in life is to surrender to that idea.”