“Graphemic Synesthesia”: Artist Duo Spent 2 Years Photographing ‘Colored’ Letters To Show How They See Them
According to fine art photographer Dasha Pears: “Anna is red, and Mary is deep dark blue. Since I was a kid, I found it very easy to remember people’s names and was very surprised when others had problems with it. Just because each name has always had a specific color, usually the color of its initial.
Naturally, I thought that everyone in the world had the same experience in their mind’s eye: colored letters, digits, names of months, days of the week, etc. It wasn’t until 2 years ago when I realized that no, not everyone was like that and what I had was a form of synesthesia—an extraordinary sensory condition that allows you to experience one of your senses through another. Some synesthetes hear, smell, taste, or feel music in color. Others taste shapes, and still others perceive written digits, letters, and words in color. This last one is what I and my friend and collaborator Jane Kristoferson have. It’s also the most common one, known as “graphemic synesthesia.”
So we see the world a bit differently. With this fun project, we want to share our experience with the world and try to remind people that there can’t be just one “right” way of seeing things in this world.
Are you a hidden synesthete? Which color is your “A”? Researchers say that for most of us, it’s red.
Me, fine art photographer Dasha Pears, and my collaborator and friend, stylist Jane Kristoferson, shot this project across 2 countries and on a 0 budget. The project is almost finished, there are only 3 letters to go, and they’ll be completed when the borders between Finland and Russia reopen.”