Feeling Blue: Colour and the modern hospital

Feeling Blue: Colour and the modern hospital

Dr Victoria BatesZoom

This paper will consider the history of hospital walls beyond the visual. It will first consider histories of hospital paint in the twentieth century, taking paint not just as a colour, but as a three-dimensional and material feature of walls. It will explore the interplay between colour and texture, showing how these helped to create specific atmospheres: first, of hygiene and cleanliness, and later of 'humanistic' or patient-centred hospital environments. The interplay between paint colour/texture, this paper will argue, could play a key role in maintaining an atmosphere or impression of cleanliness that did not necessarily match 'reality'. Secondly, this paper will consider how histories of colour and health can go beyond the visual, by thinking about the embodied nature of seeing hospital walls or being in a space *with* colour. It will explore interplays between colour, emotion, memory and affect. Again, the paper will explore the contribution of colour to hospital atmospheres - and to the ways in which these changed over time - that were sensed and felt, rather than just seen.

University of Bristol, UK
Wed 16:30 - 18:00
Creative Methodologies, Education
Standard paper