Celia Hemken

Words, pictures, film and sound can merge. Synaesthesia. I am synaesthetic. I have been so used to compartmentalising my senses as a way of dealing with the confusion of this merging that looking at my website now with its pages of separated genres it's so clear to me that I still have to differentiate worlds of sound, text and visual art. That I have lived that way for so long. So I know my next step is to find a way to break down these divisions and blend them all into one expression. That's the plan. What's developing is a new, personal language -  coming out of a combination of the petals or spots I make and the dessicated goop I've been farming to make an alphabet particular to me - a kind of hieroglyphics or pictograms similar to the widgets my autistic sister uses for communication as it turns out. 

A route to this insight that I blend senses has been through the visual arts. Painting. It has come out in the painting clearly. With the act of putting colours onto a blank surface I have seen underlying patterns emerge and then merge while experiencing and playing with formlessness, a feeling of floating in space. I have seen how I love separation, feeling my location surrounded by space, needing that and then what it feels like to blend, overlap and mix. In the space I am searching for borders and their breakdown, vibrating between the two states. In the merging I test delineations where order and change, pattern and no pattern, black & white and colour, randomness and control nudge up and sometimes fight against each other. 

In synaesthesia, one sensory organ merges with the next. So whether it be composing music, writing, dancing, applying colours on a surface or moulding objects I am searching to find out who I am, the human, in all these expressions.  Underneath it all I am the same distillation of identity within whatever form I choose to express myself.

I discover all forms become one. They all lead to the same place. Beyond identity. I feel connected to what is beyond our understanding as human beings. This is ecstatic but it can also be a problematically heady place of pure abstraction and so I look to ground myself with writing about or making pictures and films of people. People - us - with all our creatureliness, sensuality, sexuality, freedoms, constraints, anxieties and fun. Pop and rock music, and acting, was a way of connecting to people through live performance, video and being photographed. 

In my painting looking at our world and translating it into colour and space and line I can see clearly with the immediate experience of making marks on a surface that we are mirrors of each other.  I am compelled to double up, to print the mirror image of what I've made looking for the differences that are still present in the two reflecting images. I think that the making of art must have a healing component helping me to find balance between two polarities in search for a true state of health where I can reconnect to the original. A place of innocence. Innocent of division, of the categorising of things - before naming. 

Always loving colour, California seemed a great place to go. The light. After over 20 years I'm back in Europe. Different kind of light. Regardless colour has always stayed constant.