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Artist Interview: BSP

by Catherine Peters November 16, 2022

Artist Interview: BSP

 

Q: What is synaesthetic art and how did you discover the process?

This term is not new in art. Historically, the locution “synesthesia in art” gathers a large number of works by artists who were fascinated by the connection between senses. The meaning in art is similar to the original neurological one, but it is not perfectly overlapping. In fact, in the art world synesthesia is generally defined as the perception of at least two stimuli from different modalities as a single, global experience, at the same exact time. A few artists having synaesthesia: Beyoncé, Billie Eilish, John Mayer, Lorde, Tori Amos and many more - I love them all!

For me, art and music have been always connected and I have the chance to experience them together not only in my mind, but on stage, without being judged or accused of inconsistency or duplicity. I explored and experimented a lot until the day I brought the two arts together. Meanwhile, I got information about the connection in between music and colours on the internet and I discovered I have synesthesia. I’ve always been perceiving colours while listening to music but I never knew it was a super power: that’s how I would like to define it. Today, I’m continuously developing an original way of expression using a combined language intertwining art, colours, music, environmental awareness and social is-sues. What I avoided all my early years - because I was scared of what other people thought - brought me to the most satisfactory and happy experience of my life.

Q: Can you tell us about your Artistic background/education?

I have been an artist since I was in my mom’s belly. She was always singing and drawing, secretly hoping to pass those passions of her to me, and she certainly did it. I started to study singing when I was a teenager - I was a professional gymnast until 14 years old, I stopped because of an injury and I had very little time to dedicate to anything else. Soon after high school, I decided that I didn’t want to go to university but make a living out of my singing. My family didn’t react very well at the news, and they told me I could’ve done it only if I was financially independent. Promptly, I decided to do everything I could to achieve that and to show them that was I was aiming for, was possible: I was singing in private events, weddings, dance hall, parties. After a few years on stage I started to teach, while auditioning for musicals, and I made several voice-over sessions for Disney cartoons. To not disappoint my family I was also working in lots of different fields, from notarial’ office to bars and clubs, driving around the city always with the singing equipment, the stage shoes and dresses in the back of the car. My life changed the day I met Pàmela and Max. They have been able to give me a purpose, a vision, and to make me feel seen and understood, something I couldn’t find among my friends or family. Thanks to my vocal coach Pámela Pagano, I started to relentlessly study singing, going into depth with my education about it. Thanks to my agent Max, I applied that knowledge to the real world and the music industry. I was secretly painting already, but no one knew as I was feeling shy to show the visual side of my artistic vision, like it was something I couldn’t reveal. One day Pám and Max discovered my artworks and they encouraged me to show them and to bring the thing on the table, especially when speaking about my identity. Today, I’m traveling all over the world with “The Blending of Senses”, an interactive performance where art, music, and environmental care are brought together. What I’m aiming for, is to create a contemporary and distinct composition for every performance session engaging with the viewers/listeners by blend-ing all senses. My performances and works had been showcased in the UK, Netherlands, Belgium, France, Italy and soon I will go to Turkey, Brazil and USA thanks to a bursary recently won with LMCC Manhattan Cultural Council.

Q: How has your creative journey evolved over the last 10 years?

The performance is continuously evolving, and so is the painting style. Everything started with one small canvas on stage, already painted, and with a few sounds associated. Mostly, with a very small consciousness of what I was doing and what was the message I wanted to deliver. I was paint-ing and singing just because I love it. Today, I have two big white canvas at the beginning of the live set, and at the end, I’m able to show two original artworks made while singing and playing. The canvas is associated with sounds with a more sophisticated system, I learned how to use music software and together with my team and my producer, we constantly think about the purpose of this art that I do and how to engage with listeners/viewers. We are constantly challenging ourselves into discovering new languages to express what I have in my mind, and the love we have for art.

Q: Who are your Art Influencers? Inspirations?

My art influencers are unique people who can achieve incredible things because of their diversity. I love a lot of famous artists like Cecilia Vicuña, Ian Berry, Ann Veronica Janssens, Basquiat and Olafur Eliasson. Music and nature inspire me more than anything else but to see what the human being can achieve thanks to the communication and the connection with others is what is really fascinating to me and inspirational. All these artists are interacting with the public through materials or concept manipulation that is unique and not replicable. The person who is always pushing me beyond my limits is my agent Max and he is a source of infinite inspiration too. My mom always reminds me to be the better version of myself - and to be more grounded too!

Q: What inspires your work?

Mostly music and nature. My first source of inspiration is sounds and music. Then the nature makes the rest. I benefit from the outdoors in a way that is almost necessary for me. I’ve grown up in Italy in between a big capital, Rome, and a small village by the sea on an island, Sicily. I feel the necessity of the sea and the nature as much as I feel it for music to be in my mind because it allows me to see colours entering my own world and it’s like I’m always in ecstasy.

Q: Do you keep a sketchbook?

How often do you use it and do you travel with it? I have a sketchbook that I always bring with me. I like to mix up with patterns, texture and colours and to be inspired but the diversity I experience during my journeys. Sometimes I do something really different from the things I’d paint while singing and playing on stage, but it’s still part of me and it’s a continuous discovery I do of myself and the feelings I have inside. It’s just so much more than practice and bettering my art. It’s part of my self care. Each page is a release, clearing my mind and making room for worthy new questions to ponder or meaningful insights to discover and maybe share. My favourite moment is when the sketching is as far as I want to take it and it’s time for some detail work. I try to sketch everyday and everywhere.

Here’s a reel of me sketching during a classical music concert: https://www.instagram.com/reel/Cgq323Wjuuj/?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y=

Here’s a reel of me sketching during a classical music concert: https://www.instagram.com/reel/Cgq323Wjuuj/?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y=

Q: Where does a piece of work begin for you?

Can you describe your process? My paintings are the result of my synesthesia. By performing solo, I engage in a passionate chromesthetic portrayal of my music, producing original paintings while singing and playing. This is achieved by installing a small piezo trigger on the back of each canvas and connecting them to a laptop. Each artwork will then be assigned to a different sound, which I can activate by painting on it. All the stands I use as a support for the equipment are made of recycled cardboard by an Italian artisan “Bottega di Cartone” and the colours are made using natural pigments I make myself. What I’m aiming for, is to create a contemporary and distinct composition for every performance session engaging with the viewers/listeners into the blending all senses, with a touch of “artivism” to make the people related to the cause of the environment care.

Q: What are your most important artists tools?

My imagination and synaesthesia of course! But also: brushes, sticks, spatula, pigments, and other discarded materials I use to create different textures on canvas. I’m privileged because my art is in my mind and my hands and also because Art Discount just sent me a box full of incredible art supplies that I’m really looking forward to using!

Q: What are your favourite materials/technique?

I love to play with pigments and gomma arabica to make the colours similar to gouache. Music cannot be missed in my creation process of course. I’m depicting it on canvas using an abstract form of expression. I try to always give everything I have inside when I paint, and to put that on canvas with pure instinct and no people-pleasing result.

Q: What project are you currently working on?

I have so many upcoming projects I don’t know where to start! I’m currently working on new pieces connected with environmental care, music, and languages. Also, I’m shooting a documentary on my performance “The Blending of Senses” for Sky Arts. I’m traveling to bring the performance out and about as much as I can in order to promote it at best and I’m studying a way to develop it in order to engage with the public. Ultimately, I won a bursary in London and one in the US! I’m really excited about the next steps. In addition to this, I launched a fundraising for the upcoming projects I would love to be supported for.

Q: What is the best advice you were given early in your creative career?

“If you don’t believe in this, don’t do it, because if you are the first who is not believing in herself, how can the others?” And it’s so true that I turned the tables many many times before coming at peace with myself, my synaesthesia, and my way of singing and painting. But being honest with myself makes me happy, more than singing more appealing songs or depicting more commercial paintings.

Q: Where can we see more of your work online or in person?

I tell about myself on Instagram at @bspsingerpainter

- My next performances will be in London, Crete, Istanbul and Brasilia. Next year I’ll display my works at Barbican in London. I’m so excited!

Please feel free to DM me on IG, I’m always happy to meet new people and creatives. 

Catherine Peters
Catherine Peters


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