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Series: Music's Visible Secrets

Artist's Statement


My Music’s Visible Secrets series is a small series exploring the effects music has on memory and emotion. Within this framework, I am exploring how colour, texture and movement reflect my memories and emotions as I experience them through music which has been influential during transitional moments of my life.

I believe that music is more than a pleasant sound to fill the silence. My experience of music has always been more emotional and experiential than average, creating an ambience that reflects -- and can even alter -- my emotional state, my psychological presence and my physical embodiment. Unlike synesthetes whose physical sensory connections allow them to see colours associated with sound, I experience music emotionally and associatively, to the point where I cannot listen to music while I need to concentrate on something else. Although many individuals find music to be pleasurable background noise while studying, reading or writing, I find it impossible to focus on these activities while listening to music of any kind. My mind uncontrollably focuses on pitch, tone, instruments, lyrics and style, creating a flourish of emotion and vivid projections of memories which I have associated with either that specific song or that general style of music.

This musical experience has led to an interest in visually capturing these emotions and memories in a visual way. I have struggled with how to depict these images, as the memories sometimes are vivid and realistic, and are sometimes pure emotion. Associating emotion with colour seemed instinctual and using an abstract and impressionistic method of painting felt like the most honest way of reflecting these thoughts and feelings.

My creative practice for this series developed with much effort and trial. Paintings were created and painted over many times, with the frustration of not capturing the essence of the song, memory or emotion. Sometimes I begin with a song and upon listening to it, I consider how it makes me feel and what memories are associated with that. Other times I begin with a memory, a word or an emotion, and consider what song I would associate with it. The one constant is colour. My emotions and memories are in vivid colour, either directly related to the memory or psychologically created through the emotion. In this series, I have also included found object pieces in which the featured object reminded me of a song which then stimulated emotion and memory, or vice versa.

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