Ciele Beau is a visual artist based out of Vancouver, Canada. She studied at the University of Victoria (Victoria, Canada), graduating in 2013 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Visual Arts major. Aside from painting, Ciele also works as an illustrator and graphic designer. She received her 2D Design Certificate from Emily Carr University of Art and Design in 2017.
It was during her time at the University of Victoria that Ciele became aware that she had a condition called Synesthesia and began exploring this within her art practice. She began creating methods of translating her experience through painting to give the audience a window into what individuals with Synesthesia might experience.
“What is Synesthesia? In simple terms, it is the crossing of one sensory pathway in the brain to another, creating abnormal sensory experiences in the body. There are multiple forms of Synesthesia, and therefore varying measures of experience. To keep things focused, within my art, I am only referencing ‘sound to colour’ Synesthesia, as I experience it. When I hear music, I experience colour. In one way it is the feeling of colour throughout my body; I liken it to the way we feel emotion and know in our bodies when we are sad or happy on a physical level. I hear a sound and feel in my body that it is orange, or blue etc. At the same time as feeling colour I also “see” shapes in my minds eye when hearing sound. Because these two experiences can be expressed as isolated events, but also simultaneous, I created two methods of painting that help me to convey the spectrum of my experience: Chromatic Forms and Colour Frequencies.
My ‘Chromatic Forms’ paintings represent moments of a piece of music and the colours and shapes as I see them, simultaneously, whereas the ‘Colour Frequency’ paintings are my way of interpreting a full score of music, from beginning to end, into colour.
As I continue to explore my condition further, I hope to broaden the confines of perceived “normal” experience. Perception is broad, and we all have our own unique lenses. While I am focused on Synesthesia, I see it as a means to an end, a small piece of the overall puzzle of how we can open our hearts and minds to each other - to understand that not everything is as we think it is, and our experience is not necessarily the same as someone else. You and I can listen to the same song and have vastly different experiences, but how beautiful would it be to open up the conversation to those variances in perception, not only in regards to something as simple as music, but to life experience and cultural differences.”
Most recently, Ciele explored the concept of celebrity and unexpected deaths with her solo show ‘An Early Funeral’. She created 14 original works for the show, in her two styles, where people could listen to a curated playlist of songs while looking at the corresponding paintings, and read about each musician who had passed away, the circumstance and their legacies.