Viridian

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by Karen Phillips Curran
that colour

that colour

Everywhere I look, there is that colour, viridian. It is used extensively in maritime areas all over the word. Its a much loved, old fashioned colour here in Bermuda too. All of Bermuda is maritime, it is a small country, an island,  (or rather, a series of connected islands) situated mid altantic. It has no near neighbours, but enjoys the company of many visitors, all of whom have come to shape the history of this idyllic  place.

The architecture here has fascinated me since the first moment I set eyes on it. I began my artistic journey here in 1986. In those days the color range of the homes,  cottages, was more limited to traditional white, pink, coral, brick red, blue and viridian. The pink came from mixing whitewash with local rich red soil. The coral colour replicated the beaches,  who’s peach coloured sand is actually a mix of tiny broken pieces of the magnificent coral reef that surrounds the island.  The blue and viridian have origins I am not aware of.
All the rooves here are made of stepped flat stone, historically limestone slabs cut from the island structure. They are laid upon cedar rafters and sealed with whitewash. Gutters direct all the water towards cisterns which inhabit each home in various forms. The whitewash disinfects the rain water collected and must be repainted to keep its fresheness. In this way, the island is dependent upon rainfall for its household water.  When a hurricane approaches one of the duties of the householder is to block the gutters from the salt and seaweed soaked rain that lashes down, and keep it  from entering the cistern and spoiling the drinking water.