Colour of the day no. 22 – Ultramarine

solid block of colour - ultramarine

Colour of the day no 22 - Ultramarine


The name derives from Latin ‘ultramarinus’ meaning ‘beyond the sea’ as it was imported from Asia by sea. The naturally occurring Lapis Lazuli is mined in Afghanistan. During the 1880s and early 1900s, it was mined by the “fire-set” method: large fires were kindled at the tunnel face and then quenched with water. The sudden cooling caused the rock face to shatter, simplifying the removal of the ore.

We’d love to know via the comments below what Ultramarine reminds you of or makes you think about. We’re also running a weekly competition where people can re-name a colour. If you had to re-name this colour, what would you call it? There will be a weekly prize of a pot of paint containing the colour and labelled with your new name and a £10 Amazon voucher.

Colour of the day

Throughout the Brighton Festival a colour of the day will be displayed in Fabrica and on this blog. To help decide which colour to choose we asked Anne Wight who is a grapheme synaesthete. This is a form of synaesthesia in which an individual’s perception of numbers and letters is associated with an experience of colour.

Like all forms of synaesthesia, grapheme-colour synaesthesia is involuntary, consistent, and memorable and is one of the most common forms of synaesthesia. Generally, while it is extremely unlikely that any two synaesthetes will report the same colours for all letters and numbers, studies of large numbers of synaesthetes find that there are some commonalities across letters.

We have chosen colours/pigments/paints for each day loosely based the colours she sees for the dates of May’s Festival.


2 responses to “Colour of the day no. 22 – Ultramarine

  1. I find this colour a bit unsophisticated, it is almost too blue, almost a primary blue if there was such a thing.
    It does, however, make me think of the Cyclades in Greece where it is custom to paint rooves and walls in this colour.

  2. Absolutely and totally Derek Jarman’s blue. Let’s rename it “Jarman’s Blue”, please.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s