I’ve been gathering indigo images for a while now. But I wanted to wait until these stunning photos by Burcu Avsar and Helen Quinn were published. Part of a longer series which I discovered through Sri Threads, these visually stunning photos show the color of “intuition and spiritual knowledge” in all its glory. (For the complete set, click here.)
The “oldest of dyes,” indigo is a powerful color with a rich and varied history. The icon of kings, it has adorned the mummies of Egypt and Machu Picchu. The color of mystics, it is seen as a symbol of spiritual enlightenment. And yet this ocean blue is also favored by peasants in Japan, where mended boro cloths have been raised to an art. With origins in India, this midnight blue has colored the rugs of Ancient Persia, as well as the inks of Ancient China. It has been donned by cultures as far-flung as the Tauregs of the Sahara or the Nahuatl of Guatemala. As exotic as the Far East, this denim hue is also as American as apple pie.
Indigo is also a color for every season. Reminiscent of the seas and skies, it is the preferred color of summer in the Mediterranean and Japan. Lighter shades are as fresh as spring blue bells, while icier ones conjure winter’s chill. Especially when paired with amber tones, inky indigo can also echo the berries of fall.
All these connotations mean that indigo is many different things to many different people. Deep and complex, its beauty is derived not only from the richness of its hues, but from the wealth of memories it elicits and the breadth of emotions it evokes.