Is Blue The Warmest Color?: How "The Unsent Project" Shows The Pigments Of Closure
August 15, 2018|Hugo Marquez
They said that the opportunity that passes you by is never to come back. Yet, The Unsent Project proves it wrong and gives you a second chance to come clean and make amends.
Two questions: have you ever wanted to say something to a former significant other but never had the chance or the courage? And, if love were a color, what would it be? These are the premises for The Unsent Project a visual exercise in which you are given the chance to give closure to a past love.
Rora Blue, a visual artist from California, invites you to avoid the word vomit on your Twitter account after a long round of Friday shots, and make a more conscious effort to express yourself and turn it into art in The Unsent Project. The dynamic is simple: you choose the color you picture when you think of your first love (though people didn’t limit themselves to their first love only), then you type the never-sent message, and finally take a screenshot and send it to the artist.
After three years of the project, the artist still recalls the first submission that connected love and color: it was to a guy named Angel and a reflective text about an ended relationship. In addition, it would be impossible not to have stories that stay close to her. She recalls a woman whose relationship turned sour right after she got engaged: her jealous and controlling partner, plus some detachment and possible infidelity led her to put an end to it. She was left with some debts they had together, so she decided to pawn her engagement ring. Unfortunately, the ring was fake; “it was worth virtually nothing and my heart had broken again. I have spent all year putting myself together, I finally feel good again and found myself in such a happy place in my life.”
Perhaps the most emotional story she shared with us is the story of a teenager who received a heart transplant from her boyfriend. Both suffered terminal illnesses, so when he discovered his cancer spread to his brain, he donated his heart: ‘You gave me your heart & for that I can never repay you. I hope that Heaven is treating you well and I know that we will be brought back together someday’.
She never imagined the impact her project would have. People's responses have been astonishing: an estimated total of 35,000 submissions in every color; messages and colors from strangers that create a beautiful collage of emotions that come out of spite, regret, pain, or are just one last demonstration of love through words. The artist, who states that color is an essential element in her perception of the world, portrays the connection between color and emotions. “That’s when I knew I had created something that struck a chord with people,” she says. In order to comprehend the connection between color and emotion, she’s created solid color collages to see the patterns with the texts of the submissions: yellow has funny content whilst black tend to have sadder messages. However, blue, the most submitted color, has a wide range of emotions.
An artist whose projects are inspirational, relevant, and have the beauty to let people share their stories so their voices can be heard. A woman to respect, admire and learn from, Rora Blue shares with us her inspiration, future plans, and current projects as she expects to publish a book with the most memorable messages soon.
Now, after three years with The Unsent Project, what and who inspires you? What doesn’t?
I am still just as inspired by color, if not more. Traveling and listening to people’s stories also inspire me. I get uninspired if I stay in one place for too long. My all-time favorite artists are Yves Klein, Mark Rothko, and Marina Abramovic.
Have you considered turning Unsent into a multilingual project?
I would love that. I currently accept submissions in all languages. I am also beginning to work on site-specific Unsent Project installations. I am interested to see if people gravitate toward certain colors in different parts of the world. I will expand as large as the support and resources I receive will allow!
Handle With Care and Don’t are fascinating projects that remain important to a worldwide conversation: do you feel like giving them a vol. 2?
I am currently working on a series called The Walk, which is in a similar vein. The Walk is an interactive and submission-based series that pairs text with visuals and explores the objects women carry for protection while walking alone. Pink sticky notes are being submitted from women all over the world and detail the objects that they carry. Sticky notes can be sent to P.O. Box 18495 Reno, NV 89511. Selected sticky note submissions are paired with a photograph that is created as a visual representation of the submission. I have received over 100 submissions and 15 photographs. I plan to create 23 images in total and several collages on wood panel out of the sticky note submissions.
Any advice for those who are dealing with a broken heart?
Unfortunately, I still haven’t figured this one out! Take care of yourself and know that there is life after love and love after love.
What about you, Rora? What have you left unsaid?
If I tell you what I have left unsaid, then it will be said! Keep an eye on the submissions and know that one of them may be mine.
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