Seeing Sound and Painting Music

Art Gallery on Display at Orlando Science Center through October 22

Until recently, musician Christina Eve didn’t know she experienced the world differently. Born with Synesthesia, a rare neurological anomaly, Christina is able to see shapes and colors when she hears sound. To her it’s completely normal but for most of us it’s hard to imagine. That’s why Orlando Science Center is thrilled to host her artwork this fall in FUSION: A STEAM Gallery through October 22, 2019.  

 

Inherently attracted to music at a very young age, Christina pursued music her entire life. She began to paint what she saw in the hope that she could share the beauty of sound that so many of us cannot visualize. This provides rare insight into how the senses interact in the brain, to form our perception of the world around us.

 

We connected with Christina to discuss her synesthesia and artwork.

 

What synesthesia is and what kind you have?

Synesthesia is neurological condition, where two or more of the five senses (smell, sight, taste, sound, and touch) are linked. For me specifically, I have Chromesthesia so when I hear sound, I see colors and shapes. But specifically when I hear music, that’s when I see the most stunning colors and shapes, or photisms.

 

How old were you when you discovered your synesthesia?

I was 23 and a lot of us are older when we figure it out. Synesthetes are born with it, so it’s our reality. It made me really sad in college when I talked to my classmates in my music classes about a piece we’d be working on and I thought “wow, you don’t see this?”

 

Were you just able to pick up painting?
I never felt like my synesthesia had to be portrayed until I found out other people couldn’t see what I saw. I was so heartbroken that I decided to start painting to show people the stunning images that I see. But I see myself as a musician, I really don’t identify as a [visual] artist. When I first started, I had no artistic training and only did one or two paintings. Then my life got turned upside down a couple years ago, so I started doing painting therapeutically. I would put on music and paint what I saw and people started telling me this is beautiful.

I DON'T WANT TO DISAPPOINT YOU depicting the music of Thom Yorke
I DON'T WANT TO DISAPPOINT YOU depicting the music of Thom Yorke
NOR EARTH, NOR BOUNDLESS SEA depicting the music of Max Richter
NOR EARTH, NOR BOUNDLESS SEA depicting the music of Max Richter

Could you tell us about your upcoming gallery at OSC?
Pretty much everything I’ve ever done is going up. I will have the title of song I listened to for each painting. I’ll also have some newer pieces up that I call “Sleep,” it’s from composer Max Richter, who worked with a neuroscientist to write an eight-hour composition meant for the different stages and brain functions of sleep. When I listen to this I fall asleep to it and I try to capture the images when I’m in the hypnogogic state. This is the first time I’ve painted stuff for when I’m half-asleep.

 

What type of genres do you listen to when you paint?
I listen to a lot of different music, country music is yellow and brown so I stay away from that. A lot of classical, indie music, electronic music. I paint a lot of Radiohead and Bon Iver.

 

What is your process for creating your pieces? How do you find the music you want to paint?

As a synesthete, listening to music is always an extraordinary experience since my ears, eyes, heart, and mind are all inundated. If I hear a song that’s just very powerful and colorful I take it into my studio and I just start to paint on a canvas until it looks like what I’m seeing.

 

What do you want people to take away from your gallery?

When viewing my art, I hope you will be encouraged to seek out what is hidden from the eyes. Some of us may experience the world differently than most, but we all have ways to express and share beauty. As an artist, I’ve discovered that much of the synesthetic imagery I see can effectively communicate other invisible concepts, like joy or despair, or loneliness or hope. The mission of my work is to give voice to those experiences of humanity as a way to offer empathy and compassion, and to build community by sharing the hidden beauty I see.

Be sure to check out Christina's gallery, now on display at Orlando Science Center, through October 22! 

Otronicon Artists Meld Together Art and Technology

Otronicon to Host 15 Orlando Artists

Gone are the days that technology and art are viewed as two distinct entities. As technology continues to become integral in every aspect of society, it has formed a unique and vital relationship with the arts. From gloves that allow the user to control audiovisual aspects with the flick of a finger to pens that let you draw a bicycle in 3D, technology is revolutionizing how everyday arts are created. And in turn, art drives the development of technology. Your favorite comic book, video game or superhero character, special movie effects and even the designs of local theme park attractions would not be possible without the artists behind them.

 

Sydney Katz, Experience Designer who organizes the installations in Fusion: A STEAM Gallery at Orlando Science Center, remarks at the importance of melding science and art together.

 

"At the Science Center we try to give our guests multiple entry points into science, whether it’s our exhibits, or films, or hands-on experiences. Fusion: A STEAM Gallery is intended to be another great entry point where people can be introduced to science through art. On the other hand, it shows the beauty and creativity in science, and that they can go hand in hand."

 

Orlando Science Center will feature 15 local innovative artists at Otronicon, an interactive tech expo to inspire interest in science, technology, engineering, art, and math in the Central Florida community. Future artists and scientists alike will be inspired by the opportunities that arise when these two disciplines are united.

 

Here’s just a few of the artists featured during Otronicon, January 18 – 21, 2019! Please note that some of these exhibitors may only be present on select days.

Artists:

  1. Art by JP - Art by JP offers high quality art prints that are painted digitally using the Adobe Photoshop CC software and a Wacom Cintiq 22HD touch professional drawing tablet. Learn about the art industry, techniques, and processes of working as a digital and graphic artist.
  2. The Art of Danny Haas - Danny Haas is an Orlando based artist that has done work for the Walt Disney Company, Lucasfilm, 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros Records, Marvel and many galleries around the world.
  3. Art of Patrick A. Towers – Patrick Towers, a local illustrator and designer, has combined his love for drawing with cartoons, comics and movies. He will be presenting a live drawing demonstration, in addition to a wall of artwork.
  4. Art of Barrett Biggers - The art of Barrett Biggers, a digital artist from Orlando, focuses on a variety of styles and subjects including surreal, fantasy, conceptual, nature and pop culture.
  5. Gray’s Artwork - Gray is a comic artist and illustrator. He creates custom digital and traditional artwork of favorite comic-book characters, anime and cartoons.

Admission: Otronicon is free for OSC members, $20.95 for adults, $18.95 for seniors and students, and $14.95 for youth (ages 3-11). Click here to purchase tickets.

 

Otronicon Hours: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily.

 

Science Night Live Featuring Otronicon: Taking place on Saturday, January 19 from 8:00 p.m. to 11:30 p.m., SNL is a 21-and-up event, and requires a separate ticket. Click here to purchase SNL tickets.

 

For more information, please call 407.514.2000 or visit the Otronicon website.