Dulux Let’s Colour Award Winner: Michael Craig-Martin


michael-craig-martin-melinda-ashton-turnerLate last year I was asked by Dulux UK to be on the panel of judges for the 2014 Dulux Let’s Colour Awards. I was honoured to take part and on December 4th I found myself sitting around a table in a gorgeous London Hotel with 19 other industry and media professionals to discuss how colour influenced and affected our lives.  There was a beauty blogger, a Creative Director from an online furniture company, a colour psychologist along with members of the Dulux Colour & Design team.

Prior to the meeting we were all given a category, mine, along with two others, was ‘Contribution to Colour’ Award. We each had to nominate two individuals, brands or companies whom have made a lasting contribution by bringing colour to the lives of the British public. After weeks of toing and froing and thinking about all the colour influences in my life I whittled it down to two, The Derwent Pencil Company and artist Michael Craig-Martin.

The Derwent  Pencil Company was a deeply personal choice. As a child I remember my mother presenting me with a box of 36 Derwent coloured pencils saying ‘if you want to draw use the best coloured pencils available’ and I’ve used nothing else since.  I remember studying each colour, then visiting the local art store and trying to persuade my mother to buy ‘just one more’ colour to add to my collection. My goal was to match, colour for colour, the box of 72 that she couldn’t afford at the time.  Their selection of colours and consistency inspired me to keep drawing. My pencils are long gone but as soon as my daughter showed interest in drawing I too presented her with a tin of 36.
My other nomination was more of a spiritual choice. I thought of what moved me, what inspired me but also what transported me, the answer lay in art. There is a theme to my art preferences and a central link between the past and present is Michael Craig-Martin. He studied under Josef Albers and went on to influence artists such as Damien Hirst and Gary Hume. His graphic, pared back, colourful works of mass produced items makes me consider everyday objects in a different light along with colour and their proportion.
On Wednesday evening at the Awards Presentation I was finally able to let go of the secret I’d been carrying since December when Michael Craig-Martin was announced as the winner for Contribution to Colour. I arrived, albeit a bit late, and began scanning the room to see if I could spot him. With the help of my 3″ heels (yes to some peoples surprise I do have shoes other than Converse!) I cleared the 6′ mark which gave me a vantage point to see him sitting patiently in the front row.
My big toothy smile says everything really, as I had the chance to meet the man himself which was the perfect end to the whole experience. Just a shame the iPhone doesn’t have a function to take away the pink glow in the room.


Thank you to Dulux and the Mischief team for asking me to me involved, it was a wonderful event to be apart of.