Talk in Pictures (2004) – Synaesthesia Artwork

Synaesthetic art inspired by the music of Peter Gabriel

As I had discovered synaesthesia through Peter Gabriel's work, it made sense for me to take a selection of his songs, and 'illustrate' them, according to how I saw them in my mind's eye.

The idea was to listen to a song and produce a spontaneous piece of artwork whilst playing the music, and endeavouring to capture the colours, forms and textures that I saw as each song was playing. I decided to work digitally in Photoshop for speed, starting with favourite tracks from Gabriel's discography.

Come Talk To Me was first up and by the end of the song’s six minutes, I found I was well on the way to creating an unusual piece of abstract art. After a few more plays of the song, the piece felt complete. It had a pretty rough and raw feel to it, but this was as a result of working so spontaneously. What’s more, I found that I had roughly captured the essence of how I saw the music. This was an instantly fascinating and addictive process, and I soon found myself working to several other songs.

Before long, I was producing more abstract, ‘synaesthetic’ art to songs such as Steam, Mercy Street and Growing Up. I produced several complete pieces and decided to call the collection “Talk in Pictures”, an evocative lyric borrowed from And Through the Wire, from Gabriel’s third album.


Come Talk to Me   Mercy Street
Steam   Growing Up
Digging in the Dirt   Burn You Up, Burn You Down
The Tower That Ate People   I Don't Remember
The Barry Williams Show   We Do What We're Told (Milgram's 37)

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