One of the first pieces I intended to make for this exhibition was a very large photograph of a field of rapeseed spreading across the horizon. The inspiration came from an old wives’ tale that admonished children not to look at a flowering field of rape (rzepak) in the sun. They say that a person can be blinded by looking at bright yellow rapeseed in the stark glare of the sun. I enjoyed the suggestion of visual violence that this phrase carried with it.
For one reason or another, I decided not to make the piece, but I still wanted to use the phrase in the exhibition title until I realised that the name of this yellow flower in English is rape, conjuring up the phrase, ‘Don’t look at rape in the sunshine’. I couldn’t very well use that as the title of my upcoming exhibition.
After some time, the only element that remained of my initial concept was colour. The colour yellow, the colour of bile. To select the specific shade I was looking for, I perused a sampler at a shopping centre. One particularly bold hue stood out, alarmingly yellow with a certain rotten quality about it. Numbered 1021 on the RAL colour chart, it turned out that this particular shade of yellow was generally referred to as RAPE YELLOW.
Don’t look at rape in the sunshine.