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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 11, Issue 8 (November 2, 1936)

Excitement In Colour

Excitement In Colour.

It was a cinema, a newly-decorated palace of colour, complete with gilded pillars, trellised and flower-bestrewn orchestral pit, and gay boxes, where no one ever sat, but which were got up to resemble a child's idea of the garden in Wonderland—I believe there was even a fountain with sparkling drops permanently suspended for the admiring gaze of audiences.

The effect on most people was one of pleasure at the gaiety of the scene. The ostentation of it satisfied the power instinct. They, John Smith and Mary Brown, were able to procure for themselves such surroundings; they felt closer to Hollywood immediately on entering the foyer. The mixture of styles and colours conveyed by medium of the eye the subtle excitement provided through the ear by jazz.

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Despite the feeling of pleasure, I would suggest that colour excitement and sound excitement are not beneficial to city dwellers. In this neurotic age the average person needs to be soothed, mentally, rather than over-stimulated. Intricate colour designs present themselves in daily life without our seeking. It were well, therefore, in our hours of leisure to seek those colour harmonies which, according to the experiments of the psychologists, have the effects we need.

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The indication is escape, whenever possible, from urban surroundings. Among the hills, in country valleys, by the sea, the long-distance sight, so little used in this machine age, is exercised. The peace of nature, nature in its tonings of green, soothes the mind; sunshine, the golden glint of sands, of gorse, of burnished leaves, warms the understanding; the eyes are lifted and the blue of the heavens, the reflected blue of the sea, inspire the whole being. This is so; these colours have these effects; the men in clinics as well as the men ploughing fields or driving motor-caravans have proved it. For unhealthy colour stimulation, the garishness of cities; for cure, green hills lapped by blue waters, and sunshine over all.

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