Art UK has updated its cookies policy. By using this website you are agreeing to the use of cookies. To find out more read our updated Use of Cookies policy and our updated Privacy policy.

Art Matters is the podcast that brings together pop culture and art history, hosted by Ferren Gipson.

Download and subscribe on iTunesStitcher or TuneIn

Why can some people taste words? Do you see colours while listening music? What is synaesthesia, and where does it come from? Musicians like Pharrell Williams and Billy Joel have the condition; David Hockney has discussed having sound-colour synaesthesia, and Kandinsky and Van Gogh also experienced this phenomenon. This week we explore the fascinating neurological condition that connects two or more senses and ask how it can impact the way an artist creates.

This episode's guest

James Wannerton has a type of synaesthesia that connects his senses of sight, hearing, and taste. He is President of the UK Synaesthesia Association and Vice President of the US-based International Association of Synaesthetes, Artists and Scientists. James has been involved in synaesthesia research for the last 20 years, presenting on the subject and coordinating synaesthetic art collaborations in venues such as the V&A, the Science and Media Museum, and Harvard University.

Find out more about synaesthesia on the UK Synaesthesia Association website.

Explore more 

How can art help food historians know their onions

Jay Z, Warhol and Queen: when music meets art

Listen to our other Art Matters podcast episodes