From crushed bugs to cow urine: the history of colours – in pictures

By David Coles

A new exhibition in Melbourne curated by paint-maker David Coles tracks the history of over 200 pigments – some deadly, some revolting, and some so rare and expensive they are no longer in circulation. The exhibition also features the strange world of modern colours – those that can only be seen when touched, for instance, or are invisible in sunlight.

It is accompanied by 30 works from around the world which showcase how these pure colours are converted into art. ‘Making colour, whether developing the paint or building pigments from scratch, is such an act of creativity,' Coles says. ‘It's alchemy, a blend of art and science.'

• Chromotopia is at Tacit Contemporary Art in Melbourne until 18 June

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Source: From crushed bugs to cow urine: the history of colours – in pictures