Synesthesia and art.

To make it clear what will I be talking about in this article, I would like to give you a description of Synesthesia –  |ˌsinəsˈθē zh ə| ( Brit. synaesthesia)
noun Physiology & Psychology
the production of a sense impression relating to one sense or part of the body by stimulation of another sense or part of the body.
• the poetic description of a sense impression in terms of another sense, as in “a loud perfume” or “an icy voice.”

Synesthesia in not so rare within the creative society of musicians, artists, sometimes scientists and overall talented people also have it.

I was fortunate to receive this phenomenon from my mother, who has a light form of it that she experience when she thinks of the month of the year. My Synesthesia is more dynamic and colorful, I experience it when I eat, smell or listen to the music. But I am not going to talk about my synesthesia this time.

Earlier this week during my introductory talk at Rocky Neck I met one artist, who’s art directly related to synesthesia. His name is Steve Bates.  Steve was and still is a professional musician, he played at the Kennedy Center Opera House orchestra of Washington DC and still is performing locally around Manchester and Rock Port, MA. Few years ago he decided to start doing art, to express his thoughts and feelings that he experience when he is listening/playing music or looking at a piece of art. The media of choice was batik (painting on silk) as it was the closest material to represent the fluidity of music and the colors were bright and reach to reflect the brightest of the notes of musical composition. Although it felt like working with just material is going to be hard to make the work 3-dimensional, that’s when Steve has come up with an idea of working with paper, layering pre-colored pieces of paper over the other once, and elevating them to different levels and the synthetic picture in his mind was beyond the 2D scale.

He even has created a special sand box where he can make shapes with wet send, place plastic over it and start placing wet paper pieces to follow the sand shape. He would attach papers to each other using a glue. Ones paper is dried, the shape is copied, now he would make the finishing touches and the artwork is ready!

This is all just fascinating stuff. I was very curious to meet someone who not only works with watercolor paper and watercolor, but also is a synthetic. I am not alone…

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