Over a six-week residency as part of the Arts Alive Wales‘ initiative Peak, 96 colours were created in response to the area’s ecology, geology, industry, tourism, policy, economics, culture and history.
Working between November 2015 and March 2016, Chesney systematically documented the environment around her in order to develop the colours. Taking photographs of everything from lichen, craggy peaks and elements of the sky, she also recorded rotting sheep carcasses, silage bags and rusting farm machinery.
Chesney then selected the colours to feature on a printed colour chart. Examples include Bale Wrap Green – a synthetic shade developed to blend with natural green tones.
Chesney describes January Celandine as “marking the unseasonal appearance of the wildflower during the first month of the year, a warm yellow that signals just one of the visible effects of climate change”.
Joyride is a deep blue that Chesney has likened to “the obligatory burned-out car at the bottom of a disused quarry”.
Frosty Bracken is a dusty blue/grey that is taken from the “over-familiar native needing management in upland areas to prevent domination”.
Heather Habitat is based on a species of plants found on the uplands of the park that are under threat from climate change.
Another shade of blue, Pacamac, references the weatherproof coats worn by walkers in the area. Walking became Chesney’s central research tool, from traversing the well-trodden mountain trails to the routine journeys taken to meet with local residents.
Other selections from the colour chart include Hedgerow Bunting and Shot Fox, with her recorded observations creating a colour pallet which she says “in its entirety can only be matched to the Brecon Beacons”.
Copies of the chart are available for sale at £10 each with income supporting Arts Alive Wales charitable projects in the local community. For more information visit: www.peakart.org.uk
1. Rebecca Chesney, Snapshot
2. Rebecca Chesney, Bale Wrap Green
3. Rebecca Chesney, January Celandine
4. Rebecca Chesney, Joyride
5. Rebecca Chesney, Frosty Bracken
6. Rebecca Chesney, Heather Habitat
7. Rebecca Chesney, Pacamac
8. Rebecca Chesney, SNAPSHOT