Looking Through Rose Tinted Glasses

It must have been year two, when I realised my eyesight was really bad. Glasses bad. I got them the same year and have been wearing them for almost ten years.  I’ve heard all of those “can I try on your glasses?” As well as the obvious statements like “wow your eyesight is bad!”

Maybe my dodgy eyesight is the reason why I value the world around me so much, sure perfect eyes would be a much welcomed gift, but I’m at peace with my bad eyes. They’ve allowed me to appreciate things around me much more, and I’m not just talking about high quality photos of Chris Hemsworth.


Ever since I started appreciating my poorly working eyes, colour has enchanted me. Whenever I’m sad, or feeling particularly tiny and useless, seeing the blues of the skies and the greens of the trees brightens me up. The purity of nature and its colours, fascinates and entrances me. I have a profound appreciation for art which I have had for as long as I can remember. If there is one thing that I am 100% sure of, it is that I am an art lover. I have always felt very deeply, and colour has always moved me. Sound and music are both such a huge part of my life, but it always shocks me that when people are asked if they would rather be deaf or blind, they choose losing the gift of sight without hesitating. 

My favourite colours are the purest colours, the colours directly derived from nature in it’s basic forms. The blues of the skies, the greens of the trees, and the vast array of leaf shades in autumn time. The deep, rich, variety of vivid flowers, the juxtaposed blue of the water in the sea; with the frothy whites of the waves and golden sands of the beach. It sounds like a complicated, non-religious version of the hymn “God Made Everything”. The beautiful hues of the world around us will forever captivate me. 

I have a favourite band, doesn’t everyone? My favourite band are The 1975. They utilise colour in their live performances in ways many others don’t. Their commitment to colour, and using light to create art is unique. One of my favourite things about The 1975, is their live shows, which I have been fortunate enough to experience. Their live shows are unique, out of this world, and I would argue potentially unseen. They don’t have to use explosions, and confetti to generate temporary crowd awe. They make the brilliant, artistic choice of using some exquisite sets, which leave a long lasting impression on an amazed audience. I didn’t take many photos of the night, I didn’t want to live the experience through a screen, I was going to see them in front of me, in person.

Despite the band’s electrifying performance, what caught my eye was the outstanding set. It was like a light installation right in front of me. Now I had seen pictures of the set from various angles, each one incredibly, startlingly glorious, but seeing that set in front of you is a rare experience to say the least. The beauty of the colours and movements is incredible. The few pictures I took even when blurry were mind bogglingly beautiful. To achieve that purity of colour, using the medium of light with perfectly timed music, it was a thing I have never seen before. I have no doubt I will ever see anything like it again. 

When people ask what my favourite colour is, I truthfully answer I do not know. For how can I know, when I am surrounded by the breathtaking blues of the morning sky, the deep navy blue almost blacks of the night, the warm hues of the green trees? How can I answer, when still rooted deep in my mind are memories of blocks of pure pink, mixes of blues and purples, electrifying oranges, and greens encompassed in a bubble of music that makes me feel something? How can I answer when I will never see every single colour possible, how can I answer when everywhere I look I see colour, attached to feelings, sounds, and people? Art can be made without colour, but colour ignites feeling and meaning, it reminds me not to worry about my small problems. For as long as I am on this Earth, the leaves are still a gorgeous green, and colour exists.

And perhaps nobody else connects with colour as deeply as I, perhaps the audience of over 15,000 who saw the 1975 alongside me were speechless simply because of the sheer quality of the performance, not also because of the stark allure of the set. Perhaps, I’m just a person who sees everything in nothing, and who’s sitting at 10:20 pm, tired and writing to nobody.

But, I know I hate feeling disconnected, yet I always seem to be. I feel like I am inherently disconnected and if art in its many mediums - dance, light, film, music - can make me feel connected, I shall connect. I shall feel something.


Written by Iraj Gillani

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