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The Color Sequences Project

Crack open the hue-laden tales of British author A.S. Byatt to indulge in chromatic storytelling at its finest. Here, each color word from a chapter or short story of Byatt’s text is matched with a Pantone Color Matching System hue. The colors are lined up into even vertical strips in the exact order they arise in the texts.


Hallelujah. You’re as lucky as those Latin-illiterate medieval folk under the colorful glow of cathedral stained glass. Colors deliver the narrative and the punch line of an entire book without you having to read one darn word. 


Color Sequence 1 (A. S Byatt's Possession, Chapter One) (above)

digital file.


Color words in the order they appear in chapter one of A. S. Byatt’s novel, Possession: gold golden gold silver black white green black black blue cream grey brown soot-black golden tomato-red grassy green gold gold metallic gold golden gold golden golden gold-skinned grain-golden golden leather brown gold grey green tomato.


Color Sequence 146 (A. S Byatt's "The Pink Ribbon") (detail)

digital file.


A.S. Byatt's dark adult fairy tale book titled Little Black Book of Stories, drops a clever horrifying story of self hate in cloyingly oversaturated synthetic hues. Think bubblegum pink and lipstick red coupled with dark navy blues and warm greys.

Color Sequence (detail)

digital files.


I created many Color Sequences in this series, including all chapters of Byatt's Booker-Prize winning novel, Possession. In addition, I analyzed the hue, saturation, and value of colors in relation to the character's physical and emotional state in a story and created graphs to understand the correlation between the visual color residue and the plot. (One of these graphs became the cover image for the book Color Language and Color Categorization by Jonathan Brindle, Geda Paulsen, and Mari Uusküla by Cambridge Scholars Publishing. I wrote an analysis text of the aforementioned graphs which was published in this volume as well, and I presented the Color Sequences Project at a conference at Harvard University and another at the Institute of Estonian Language in Tallinn.)

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