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Personal perception and experience define our individual responses to music and the visual arts. 

In my practice I use the medium of paint on a variety of surfaces including canvas, wood and paper. I work with a fixed palette of twelve colours to represent the colours I perceive through my experiences of sound-colour synaesthesia. There are many types of synaesthesia, a phenomenon in which a stimulus to one sense consistently and uniquely evokes automatic, conscious perceptions in a different sense.

When listening to music, I perceive each note of the musical scale as a specific colour. I am also a musician, playing violin and viola in local orchestras. The combination of my experiences of synaesthesia and my musical background is the inspiration and motivation for me to create visual artworks expressing music through colour.

My practice is translational; it is visually abstract but not driven by formal abstraction. Some artworks are based on a single melody, others represent multiple themes or instrumental parts. This work focuses on the relationship between the orchestra and the soloist in a concerto, highlighting the complexity of music but extracting key themes that form the musical structure.

Synaesthetic perceptions are difficult to describe in words; my experiences are fleeting perceptions of bright colours in my mind’s eye. My work does not attempt to accurately reproduce these embodied perceptions but uses the colours defined by them. I interpret white as an absence of sound, using it to represent rests or gaps in the music and as a background. Applying any colour of my synaesthetic musical colour scale is a conscious and deliberate choice to represent a musical note.

I use technology to develop and document my work, however, I prefer to make physical artwork using tangible media. Colour specificity is an important aspect of my practice. I consider paint to be the most controllable physical medium to imitate the colours I perceive.

Process drives my practice; I use drawings, plans and test pieces to develop outcomes that I consider represent the essence of the original music. Artworks range from precisely painted geometric patterns of excerpts of written music, to gestural manipulation of paint on the surface in response to colours perceived whilst listening to the music. These styles may be used alone or in combination, layering them in complex patterns. 

My practice has developed from within this framework of personal perceptions and my experiences of both playing and listening to music. I aim to balance the integrity of my translational processes from my musical perspective with visual compositional decisions, exploring the many possibilities of using colour and form to visually represent music through colour.