The Colour of the North Sea

Starting with the question ‘what do you call home”?’, Valerie van Leersum is examining the relationship between location, identity and the ever-changing landscape. By considering actual history and subjective perceptions, she is attempting to map out the core or soul of a specific location. The work of Valerie van Leersum is based on a study of the colour of the sea. She observes the relationship between the colour of the sea and its residents, with their close ties to their environment. One of her approaches is to examine the colour of human eyes in relation to the colours of the sea.

To describe the colour tones in nature, Valerie makes use of colour indexes such as the Forel-Ule scale, and Werner’s Nomenclature of colours (1814), a publication also used by Darwin. For her research project, during the event Listening to the sea, she invited people on the beach at Scheveningen to compile new colour charts of the North Sea, based on personal observations. What do these colour definitions say about the human identity?

Photo’s: Rik van Santen en Hollandse Hoogte/ Laurens van Putten