Dreaming in Technicolour – Frida Kahlo’s Diary.
I’ve kept a journal on and off for years. When I’m feeling creatively stuck I find that a daily ‘off-loading’ onto the page helps clear some space for ideas to come. When they do, I drop the whingeing and work the ideas out on the page instead. I have stacks of journals filled with my inscrutable minuscule scrawl that I never return to because the contents are either illegible, utterly cringeworthy or insufferably dull. I may not reread my own diaries but I am fascinated by the diaries and working practices of other people.
It’s no wonder then that I was so inspired when I found ‘The Diary of Frida Kahlo: An Intimate Self-Portrait‘. The combination of random thoughts, visual experimentation, and above all, the vibrant and liberal use of colour is inspirational. To be able to access such a rich collection of informal sketches, studies, poems, dreams and observations collected over the last ten years of Kahlo’s life is an incredible resource offering an insight into her artistic practice as well as her life and her personal thoughts.
The diary is not only inspiring, I’ve found it liberating too. I’ve always felt faintly embarrassed by my large collection of brightly coloured writing inks. I love them, but can’t shake the feeling I’m behaving like a misguided sixth former when I veer away from regulation black or navy. Well, Frida Kahlo clearly didn’t give two hoots for the coloured ink maturity index – hell, she didn’t limit herself to using one at a time – and from now on, neither will I!