Colour Society Of Australia


CSA National Conference "Colour Connections" FRIDAY ONLY

  • 19 Mar 2021
  • 9:30 AM - 6:00 PM
  • Online (Zoom)


  • For registrants who are not currently members of the Colour Society of Australia and who require access to the live presentations and recordings for Friday March 19 ONLY. Does NOT include CSA membership for 2021-22.
  • For registrants who are current (2020-21) members of the Colour Society of Australia and who require access to the live presentations and recordings for Friday March 19 ONLY. Does NOT include CSA membership for 2021-22.
  • For registrants who are full-time students or pensioners and who require access to live presentations and/or recordings for the Friday only. Does NOT include CSA membership for 2021-22.

Registration is closed

Please use this page to register if you only want access to the live presentations and recordings for FRIDAY MARCH 19, and do not want to take advantage of our special deal offering combined full conference registration and CSA membership for 2021-2022. Zoom links and a pdf volume of abstracts will be emailed to registrants shortly before the conference.

To receive the email with the Zoom links and pdf of Abstracts, registration must be made by 12 noon AEDT on the day before the conference (Thursday, March 18). CSA Members and nonmembers who only require access to the video recordings can continue to register and pay on this page during and after the conference.


On behalf of the Colour Society of Australia, the Organising Committee of the CSA National Conference Sydney 2021 would like to invite you to participate in our conference on the theme COLOUR CONNECTIONS . . . . . . . . .

Important dates

First circular and call for abstracts 04 June 2020
Submission deadline for abstracts 25 September 2020
Notification of oral/poster presentation 02 November 2020
Registration opens 08 February 2021
Conference dates 19-21 March 2021


About the conference theme

The theme Colour Connections acknowledges the importance of multidisciplinary approaches to colour in this era of ever-narrowing specialization. Speakers were invited to consider how their own work involving colour may be of interest and of importance in other disciplines, or to critically contrast and perhaps reconcile different specialized approaches to colour within their own discipline. We encouraged participation from designers, artists and other colour practitioners whose work references scientific or philosophical understanding of colour, from colour educators whose teaching programs span the art-science divide, and from scientific, historical and other researchers who believe that their insights about colour have relevance beyond their specialized areas of interest. We thank our speakers for their overwhelmingly generous response and can promise a diverse program discussing colour in relation to philosophy, science, design, abstract and representational painting, art history and theory, and education.

Video Recordings

Video recordings of presentations at the conference will be made available to CSA member and nonmember registrants in due course after the conference.

SCHEDULE: Friday March 19

Please note that our schedule of speakers set out below may be subject to change without notice due to circumstances beyond our control. All times are AEDT (Australian Eastern Daylight Time) UTC+11:00.

9.45 am   Conference Committee Welcome

History of Colour Theory and Practice
10.00 am Renzo Shamey (USA), Colour Pioneers of the Islamic Golden Age
10.30 am Patrick Baty (UK), Nature’s Palette: A Color Reference System from the Natural World
11.30 am Liz Coats (ACT), An Early Modernist Experiment with Colour Perception
12.00 pm Michael Lech (NSW), At Home with Colour: an Introduction to the Colour Resources at the Caroline Simpson Library & Research Collection


Colour Science and Lighting Technology
2.00 pm Stephen Dain (NSW), Blue Light: Nasty or Nice?
2.30 pm Wendy Davis (NSW), Leveraging Colour to Reduce the Energy Consumed by Lighting

Philosophy of Colour
3.30 pm Derek Brown (UK), The Reality of Colour Illusion and Nearby Misperceptions
4.00 pm Barry Maund (WA), The Richness of Illusions of Colour

Colour in Light Art
5.00 pm Aly Indermühle (NSW), Luminous Colour - the Enchantment of Light Art

Renzo Shamey (USA),, Colour Pioneers of the Islamic Golden Age

Renzo Shamey is the CIBA professor and Director of the Color Science and Imaging Laboratories, North Carolina State University, the editor in chief of the Springer "Encyclopedia of Colour Science and Technology", and the immediate Past President of our american sister organization, the Inter Society Color Council. His current research areas include color perception including unique hues, examination of blackness, grayness, and whiteness and small color differences.

Renzo's presentaion "Pioneers of Color Science in the Islamic Golden Age (8-13th C AD)" is based on a chapter from his recent book co-authored with Rolf Kuehni, “Pioneers of Color Science” (Springer, 2020). During the Golden Age of Islam, Arab and Persian scholars, as well as scholars from other countries, were able to build on the information they translated from the Greeks and others and forged new advances in many fields. The work of these scholars on color involved assessing gemstones, plants and the rainbow, and advanced understanding of vision, optics and astronomy.

Patrick Baty (UK), Nature's Palette

Patrick Syme’s editions of "Werner’s Nomenclature of Colours" (1814, 1821) attempted to establish a universal colour reference system to help identify, classify and represent species from the natural world. In spite of its small size and scope, it proved invaluable to artists, zoologists, botanists, mineralogists and anatomists, and it is important for being the first of a series of colour reference systems that led to much bigger things. At "Colour Connections" Patrick Baty (UK) will talk about his new book "Nature's Palette", in which Syme's work has, for the first time, been enhanced with the addition of illustrations of the animals, vegetables and minerals that Werner referenced alongside each colour swatch.

Patrick Baty is a leading specialist in the use of paint and colour in historic buildings who has consulted on countless restoration projects, including Hampton Court Palace, Stowe, Tower Bridge and the Royal Festival Hall and numerous other sites in the UK, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Historic Charleston, Monticello, Colonial Williamsburg and the Tryon Palace in the USA. He is also noted as the author of the magnificent book "The Anatomy of Colour", an illustrated history of heritage paints, pigments and colour.

Liz Coats (NSW, An early Modernist Experiment with Colour Perception

Dr Liz Coats is an abstract colour painter who has exhibited regularly since the mid-1970s in numerous galleries around Australia and internationally. In 2012 she completed a doctorate at the School of Art (ANU) including an exegesis on "Organic growth and form in abstract painting". Liz has been awarded numerous prizes and grants as well as fifteen Australian and international artists' residencies. An inclusive work history can be found at:

In her talk “An Early Modernist Experiment with Colour Perception”, Liz will explore some little-known research into colour perception by the Russian artist, Mikhail Matyushin (1861-1934). Matyushin speculated on humans’ potential for expanding the periphery of vision, and proposed that the sensory body could be modified and strengthened with visual exercises. In 1933, with assistance from his students, he published a reference book of hand-painted colour samples to document their discoveries. While their conclusions were far-reaching, to avoid censorship and persecution the book was promoted to architects and designers as a guide to selecting harmonious colour schemes in buildings.

Michael Lech (NSW), At Home with Colour: an Introduction to the Colour Resources at the Caroline Simpson Library & Research Collection

Michael Lech, curator of the Caroline Simpson Library & Research Collection (CSL&RC) at Sydney Living Museums, will give a presentation on the colour resources of the CSL&RC, titled "At Home with Colour". The CSL&RC is a specialist library with a focus on the history of house and garden design and interior furnishing in Australia. The collection includes historic furnishing samples, trade catalogues and sample books, personal papers and manuscripts, pictures and photographs. Color-related resources in the collection include many rare and unique items from the 19th and 20th centuries, including textile samples, original furnishing designs, paint charts, and specialist colour reference sources for home interiors.

Michael Lech has written on various aspects of the history of houses, interiors and domestic furnishings in Australia, including a book on the extensive wallpaper collection at the CSL&RC. He curated the exhibition, "Marion Hall Best: Interiors", and co-curated with Megan Martin, "Dream Home Small Home", on Australia’s housing crisis following World War II. Michael is also engaged in ongoing research into the rise and development of Australia’s department stores and furnishing trade.

Stephen Dain (NSW), Blue Light: Nasty or Nice?

Emeritus Professor Stephen John Dain is a former Director of ORLAB, a self-sustaining test, calibration and research facility within the School of Optometry and Vision Science at UNSW. Stephen is founding member and an Honorary Life Member of the Colour Society of Australia. He has had a distinguished research career specializing in vision & video display unit (VDU) operators, eyes & vision in industry, eye protection, ultra violet (UV) effects on eyes, colour vision and eye disease, colour vision deficiencies and lighting. He will be speaking at Colour Connections on "Blue Light, Nasty or Nice?"!

Wendy Davis (NSW), Leveraging Colour to Reduce the Energy Consumed by Lighting

Wendy Davis is an Associate Professor in Lighting and Director of Illumination Design in the School of Architecture, Design and Planning at the University of Sydney, where she leads a lighting design master’s program and a research group investigating ways that emerging technologies can be used to better illuminate architectural spaces. She previously spent seven years as a Vision Scientist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Wendy earned her Ph.D. and M.S. degrees from the University of California, Berkeley in vision science, after completing her B.A. in psychology and physiology at the University of Minnesota.

Wendy's presentation "Leveraging Colour to Reduce the Energy Consumed by Lighting" will invite colour experts from all disciplines to consider (and hopefully share!) the ways in which their knowledge, understanding, and experience with colour could be used in the development of new approaches to lighting design.

Derek Brown (UK), The Reality of Colour Illusion and Nearby Misperceptions

Derek H. Brown is a Senior Lecturer in the Centre for the Study of Perceptual Experience and Department of Philosophy at the University of Glasgow. He works in philosophy of mind and perception, with particular interests in philosophy of colour, perceptual constancies, ‘indirect’ approaches to perception, imagination, projection in perception, and perceptual demonstratives. He recently co-edited, with Fiona Macpherson, "The Routledge Handbook on the Philosophy of Colour". In his presentation "The Reality of Colour Illusion and Nearby Misperceptions", Derek will argue that some so-called colour illusions deserve to be classified as such and some do not, and will begin to outline a theory of colour illusion that accommodates this picture. 

Barry Maund (WA), The Richness of Illusions of Colour

Barry Maund is Senior Honorary Research Fellow in Philosophy at the University of Western Australia and is a leading authority on the philosophy of colour. Among his many influential writings are his books “Colours: Their Nature and Representation” (Cambridge University Press, 2009) and “Perception” (Acumen, 2013), and his entry “Color” in the “Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy”.

Barry’s presentation “The Richness of Illusions of Colour” is a lucid discussion examining different ways in which something can be said to be an “illusion” and conversely, different ways of being real. In making these distinctions he develops a positive aspect of a view of colour favoured by scientists but resisted by many philosophers.

Aly Indermühle (NSW), Luminous Colour - the Enchantment of Light Art

Aly Indermühle's talk “Luminous Colour - the enchantment of light art” is an illustrated overview of contemporary light art exploring the global popularity of the medium and why it continues to captivate the public.

Aly’s career has spanned multiple elements of film and television production to include 3D animation, artistic creation, sculpture, lighting, texturing and theme park design. She now focuses on sculpture and art Installations in her artistic practice, which encompasses large-scale publicly displayed artwork as seen in VIVID Sydney and The Australian Open to smaller more intimate light works for the private sphere.

Copyright & Legal Obligations

All information in the abstract submission, including author’s names, affiliations, authors order of listing, and the content of abstract, will be used in the conference publications. The contributor carries legal obligations of the abstract; any violation to a third party’s right will be the responsibility of the contributor him/herself.

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