Colorblindness Simulations

Stargazer - Protanope Colorblindness - Kathryn Koozer, A Seattle Artist - notes.kathrynkoozer.com

Earlier in my experimentation of collage and techniques I was also studying web design.

One of the issues that I feel is relevant for web designers is accessibility and under this topic is color blindness. If a viewer/user of a website has a form of colorblindness there is the potential that the wonderful/beautiful/masterpiece of a design that you took so long and painstakingly to design is rendered unusable and/or visually unappealing. Text might merge with background, objects in photos become indistinguishable, links are unrecognizable, and so on…

In an effort to understand and possibly adapt for this I found a website called Vischeck (http://www.vischeck.com/) which will take any website or photo and simulates what three different versions of colorblindness looks like to the affected person. It does have some issues with css coding but it is useful regardless. They also offer a plug-in for Photoshop that you can use offline on your own compy.

What does this have to do with my art? Well, if you’ve looked at my artist galleries you would have noticed a set of Lilies that explore this concept. The original piece is based off of a StarGazer lilly that grew in my own garden. I then used the colorblindness filter on it, and behold, the lily in the eyes of others that see the world in a much different way than most.

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Stargazer by Kathryn Koozer

 

StarGazer – Colorblindness Study

Top left is the normal coloring

Top right is Protanope color blindness (green-yellow-red & loss of brightness, dark reds can be mistaken for black or grey)

Bottom left is Deuteranope color blindness (green-yellow-red w/out abnormal dimming, & sometimes dark greens can be mistaken for black or grey, also blues are not quite as deep)

Bottom right is Tritanope color blindness (blue-yellow)

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When I showed my work in Moscow during my solo show it was suggested to me that I do more work in the area of colorblindness. As I’m sure you’ve noticed, or will shortly, I have added a photo album here on Facebook titled, Color Blindness Simulations. In this album you’ll find a set of my own photos that I ran through the plug-in/filter. There is also a short explanation of the three different colorblindnesses simulated. This is an effort to decide what subject to work on for my next collage which will, shocking I know, deal with colorblindness.

Most likely it will be split into four separate pieces. The subject may or may not be sliced into fourths or used in the same manner as the Lily piece. I’m leaning towards it being sliced as I haven’t created a piece like that before and it would give my work a wee bit more diversity.

Go to my Facebook Page for the Simulations in the Colored Pencil Album.

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So why would I want to create a work of art that has anything to do with color
blindness?

As I wrote above about the lily, the concept of most of my recent work is about expressing the differences in the way different people see the world, how we take our vision for granted, and how most are so wrapped up in their own lives and just don’t see, or take the time to see, the beauty and essence of the everyday natural, and even man-made, world that surrounds us.

Just wait till I decide to explore not just color blindness, but *just* blindness.

– Kathryn Koozer

See my work:
On Merchandise – Zazzle

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Colorblindness Simulations
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