Ask an expert: how colour and creativity are helping people cope during the coronavirus outbreak

14 April 2020

UCLan’s Pam Eccles, Senior Lecturer in Interior Design, offers her opinion on the use of the rainbow and creative tasks during the COVID-19 lockdown

During the coronavirus lockdown, children around the country have been creating rainbows to display in the windows of their homes.

The homemade works of art have quickly become a beacon of hope during such a difficult time for both young and old.

There has also been a huge increase in people of all ages turning to creative pastimes to help them cope with the unprecedented situation.

The University of Central Lancashire’s (UCLan) Pam Eccles, Senior Lecturer in Interior Design, gave some interesting insight into why colour and creativity are important for everyone.

Why is the rainbow seen as beacon of hope at this time? What’s so special about the colours and shape of a rainbow?

Rainbows have long been associated as a symbol of good luck, hope and motivation, so what better symbol for children to focus on during this time.

It’s a primary shape too, often children are drawn to the array of colours associated with them, and let’s not forget, as we all know, there is a pot of gold at the end of them!

How and why does colour affect our mood? Are their specific colours or shades which are known to boost our moods?

There are a lot of theories surrounding the effect of colour and how it may influence our mood. Tones of yellows are associated with happiness; greens have an obvious link with nature and can soften a space whereas shades of purple are strongly linked to luxury and often royalty. But ultimately, we all have our own colour palette we are naturally drawn to, be it in the cloths we wear or in our homes, and if it makes you happy that’s all that matters.

People are turning to creative activities to help them cope with the unprecedented situation. Why do you think this is and do you think people will continue these activities when life returns to normal?

Being creative is something that some adults forget to do, or simply don’t have time to do. Whereas we encourage children to be creative from a young age. Crafts/creativity can have huge positive benefits for everyone. It’s a fantastic way to express your emotions, and it can offer you valuable time to just focus on yourself for a little while. Despite what’s happening in this current climate, there are positives to focus on right now. We’re seeing more families going for walks and bike rides together, more people being creative because they have more time at home, and I genuinely believe that this will be a turning point for many, as its forced a lot of people to reflect on what is important.