Acrylic on Canvas.
255mm x 255mm x 35mm
Painted Year 2015
Smither, and many visual-music artists before him is interested in synaesthesia; a condition which causes multi-sensory sensations, such as smelling a word, hearing a shape, or seeing colours in response to sound. Whether abstract or figurative, Smither’s paintings can seem to vibrate for some viewers when corresponding music is played – many derive their colour combinations from music theory or are created as visual compositions that can be played.
But Smither is less concerned with the subjectivity of actual synaesthesia, as such, developing his own formal systems that directly map specific colours and shapes to notes.
Smither experiments in this area, implicating the viewer in their work, sometimes as an active participant in colour-music activities, or simply seeking direct ways to communicate sensory information.
Notes and Crosses works are a further development of a set of colour-coded playing cards Smither designed for Novak’s Texas project, One Song, Three Composers (2011) – a matching colour chart was placed with three keyboards as a guide for musical improvisation, but with the corresponding keys on each keyboard coloured differently to create harmonic variations.
Smither, also highlights a network of ties, linking geographical spaces as well as the exchange of ideas that takes place between associated practices, particularly the mutual influence that passes between an established and an emerging artist.
Notes and Crosses
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