Naturally Brilliant Colour is the first book to reveal artworks made using the world's brightest colour – Pure Structural Colour, recently derived from the metallic-like colours of Pollia berries, hummingbirds and butterflies. Pure Structural Colour is a mimic of the type of structural colour that has evolved many times, independently, in nature to appear the brightest type of colour to the eye, and has co-evolved with the visual systems of animals to result in the ultimate form of colouration.
In this book scientist and artist Andrew Parker reveals for the first time his artworks created using Pure Structural Colour and describes how this colour evolved simultaneously with the eye itself – a narrative which is followed throughout the artworks in their patterns and visual effects. Art meets science in this stunningly visual book, which opens our eyes to reveal that the world of colour is far more complex and sophisticated than we could have ever imagined.
The book accompanies the global unveiling of Pure Structural Colour and the exhibition Naturally Brilliant Colour showing at Kew Gardens, 17 May – 26 September 2021, where the original artworks were displayed for the first time.
Andrew Parker has had a lifelong fascination with colour as both a scientist and artist. He began his career both as a scientist and an artist, looking at the mechanisms behind colour and their effect on the eyes of observers from these different subject perspectives. In 1998 he won international awards with the publication of the Light Switch Hypotheses – the discovery that the evolution of image-forming eyes, and vision in the general community of animals, triggered the 'Cambrian explosion' – the Big Bang of evolution. He is the Founder of Lifescaped and Senior Fellow at the University of Oxford. Author of numerous bestselling books including Seven Deadly Colours (The Natural History Museum, 2016), In the Blink of an Eye (The Natural History Museum, 2016) and The Line of Sight (Atlantic Books, 2022).