Art and Synaesthesia

Art in Conversation seminars on synaesthesia in art

In collaboration with The International Association of Synaesthetes, Artists, and Scientists, ArC is organizing a special issue on synaesthesia in art. We will be hosting art practitioners with synaesthetic experience in conversation with academics.

Co-organizers: Anton-Sidoroff-Dorso (IASAS), Marina Iosifian (University of St Andrews)

Seminar 1: Cinema

20th of September 2023, from 3:30 pm to 5:00 pm UK time

The seminar delves into the impact of synesthesia on the world of cinema. We will examine how the fusion of visual elements with other sensory dimensions molds our cinematic encounters. Furthermore, we will delve into how synesthesia serves to shape creativity within the realm of filmmaking.

Introductory word by Sean A. Day, Ph.D., Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences, Trident Technical College President, International Association of Synaesthetes, Artists, and Scientists (IASAS)


John Brown – documentary cameraman, director, and stills photographer, Oxfordshire, UK

Georgina Evans – PhD, College Lecturer, Faculty of Modern & Medieval Languages and Linguistics, University of Cambridge, UK

Seminar 2: Perfumery

18th of October 2023, from 9pm to 10:30pm UK time

The seminar delves into the influence of synesthetic experiences on the art of perfumery. Can a fragrance authentically recreate the sensation of a crossroads between various senses? Could synesthesia serve as a valuable tool for perfumers in the creation of innovative fragrances?


Dawn Goldworm – Scent Designer, Cofounder of 12.29 & Scent for Good

Anina Rich – Professor, School of Psychological Sciences, Macquarie University

Avery Gilbert – PhD, author, founder of Headspace Sensory LLC

Seminar 3: Design

25th of October 2023, from 3:30pm to 5pm UK time

The seminar delves into the realm of synesthetic design, a field that systematically incorporates all five senses into product development. How can the principles of multisensory perception be effectively integrated into the process of product design?


Michael Haverkamp – PhD, consultant, lecturer and author on cross-sensory design and acoustics

Ladan Shams –  Professor of Psychology, BioEngineering, and Neuroscience, UCLA

Nicolas Rothen – professor of psychology at UniDistance Suisse, Brig, Switzerland

Co-organizers: Marina Iosifian (University of St Andrews), Anton-Sidoroff-Dorso (IASAS)

Seminar 4: Cuisine

1st of November 2023, from 3:30pm to 5pm UK time

The seminar will delve into the concept of taste as a multisensory experience. How does the interplay of multiple senses impact our experience of eating and drinking? Furthermore, how do modern chefs engage in experimental approaches with synesthetic flavors?


Gabriela Ruiz Lugo – chef and restaurant owner, named the best chef in Mexico by the Mexican Gastronomic Council.

James Wannerton – artist and writer, President of the UK Synaesthesia Association

Qian Janice Wang – Associate Professor of Consumer Psychology at the University of Copenhagen

Seminar 5: Literature

8th of November 2023, from 3:30pm to 5pm UK time

The seminar delves into the role of synesthesia in the creation and perception of literary fiction. How do the author’s personal synesthetic experiences influence their writing? Additionally, how does literary fiction effectively engage with various sensory modalities?


Jane Yardley – writer, PhD, author of Painting Ruby Tuesday, Rainy Day Women, A Saucerful of Secrets, Dancing with Dr Kildare.

Bodo Winter – Associate Professor in Cognitive Linguistics, University of Birmingham

Patricia Lynne Duffy – researcher in synaesthesia, author of Blue Cats and Chartreuse Kittens: How Synesthetes Color Their Worlds; contributor of chapter, “Synesthesia and Literature”, Oxford Handbook of Synesthesia; regular contributor to JTTS online mag; instructor, United Nations Language and Communications section.

Seminar 6: Music

22nd of November 2023, from 3:30pm to 5pm UK time

The seminar delves into the role of synesthesia in both creating and perceiving music. Can music captivate not only auditory perception but also the senses of taste, touch, vision, and smell? How do the author’s personal synesthetic experiences influence the creation of music?


Jenny Chai – pianist in contemporary piano music, Doctor of Musical Arts

Solange Glasser – PhD, Lecturer in Music Psychology and Performance Science, University of Melbourne

Seminar 7: Visual arts

29th of November 2023, from 3:30pm to 5pm UK time

Can visual art translate non-visual sensations onto the canvas? We will discuss how artists experiment with and explore the integration of senses, using synesthetic experiences to visualize how we perceive time, numbers, and letters.

Concluding remarks by Carolyn ‘CC’ Hart, founding member and Secretary of the International Association of Synaesthetes, Artists, and Scientists; synesthete artist, author and neurodiversity advocate


Daniel Mullen – Scottish Artist, painter based in Amsterdam

Lucy Engelman  – artist, filmmaker, and synesthete

Dasha Pears – visual artist, photographer based in Helsinki, Finland

Michael Banissy – Professor, Head of School of Psychological Science, University of Bristol