CRAYOLA, 2022 by Leslie Hossack

© 2022 Leslie Hossack

CONSTRUCTED RECOLLECTION is a series of images inspired by childhood memories of colour. For anyone growing up in the 1950s, what could possibly say colour more than Crayola?

“Purple had the starring role in my very first memory of a colour. It was 1953. Toward the end of the school year, our kindergarten teacher often spoke to us about Queen Elizabeth’s upcoming coronation. One day Miss Balson gave each of us an illustration of a crown; it looked like a page out of a colouring book. She then showed us a coloured photo of the crown. We were each given a box of six crayons and instructed to colour our crown. I diligently studied the coloured photograph. I liked the purple velvet fabric in the centre and determined that I would start with that. I dutifully dumped my crayons onto the tabletop but, to my dismay, there was no purple crayon. I was outraged that I had been given a task but not the necessary tools to complete the job. In the end, I coloured the purple cap with the red crayon. A week or so later, we were given a fresh copy of the same crown and told to colour it. I remember being annoyed that we were being asked to do the same thing over again. As before, the boxes of crayons had only six colours: green, yellow, brown, red, blue and black. No purple. I attacked the purple velvet cap first, this time with the blue crayon. (It would be a long while before I realized that I could have used the red and blue crayons to make purple.) Only in Grade One did I receive a box of eight crayons, the additions being orange and purple. This box of eight was the inspiration for Crayola.”

Chromogenic print mounted on aluminum composite panel
30 x 24 in.

CONSTRUCTED RECOLLECTION: An Abstract Autobiography – Childhood Colour Coded.

Selected images from Constructed Recollection featured in online exhibition at:     Spring/Summer 2023.   21 January – 25 February 2023.

To view more work by Leslie Hossack, please visit

ABOUT Leslie Hossack

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