American artist and filmmaker Lucy Engelman has a far different experience of the world than most. Engelman has a phenomenon called Synesthesia, which crosses her perceptual pathways to allow her to taste colors, smell sounds, and even experience verbal data as a spectrum of vibrant colors. Engelman’s husband, Scottish painter Daniel Mullen, decided to translate her complex sensory world in a way that might be easier to understand for those of us who don’t see days and numbers as pockets of color.
The collaboration exists as a set of paintings titled A Different Kind of Time: Sequencing Spatial Temporal Synesthesia. The works each contain a sequence of flat rectangular shapes arranged in a variety of arches and lines. The angle of the shapes is switched in each work, some aligned with only one side facing the audience, while others seem to project right through the canvas or retreat back into the painting’s rotated plane. Engelman explains the works are the closest visual approximation to what she experiences, especially in relation to her mind’s translation of letters, numbers, and time.