I am BSP, a synesthetic artist and performer who paints, sings and plays the canvas on stage all at once. My paintings are connected to sensors that produce sounds every time I touch them with brushes or hands, allowing you to experience synesthesia firsthand.
Being a synesthetic artist is like having a secret window into the world of art. It's an extraordinary gift that allows me to see the world differently, through a beautiful tapestry of sensations. For me, every musical note is a stroke of colour, and every colour is a dancing melody. Synesthesia makes it possible to feel music on the skin and see sound by painting the future.
My most recent performances and works have been displayed at Venice Biennale 2022 and Tate Modern (London, UK) in June 2022. A documentary about my performance “The Blending of Senses” is on air on Sky Arts TV channel from January 3rd 2023.
Photo by mikesouthmakes
Clothes by Diana Quintal x D/Backyard
My journey into eco-friendly clothing and fabric painting began with a deep connection to nature. The beauty of the environment, particularly in Madeira, inspired me to incorporate sustainability into my artistic expression. The desire to create art that not only resonates visually but also aligns with environmental consciousness motivated me to explore eco-friendly practices. That’s why I created a capsule collection painted by hand with scrap fabrics with a sustainable fashion designer, Nathan Slate. Using sustainable colours and dying techniques, we created 5 pieces of clothing in the forest. This is only the beginning of collaborations I’m doing in the field of fashion sustainability.
Tell us about a time when you worked with someone who really shaped your creative philosophy and how you think about sustainable design.
Working with Nathan Slate significantly shaped my creative philosophy. Their commitment to sustainable design opened my eyes to the transformative power of art in promoting environmental responsibility. This experience reinforced my dedication to incorporating sustainable methods into my work.
How do you, as an artist working with fashion designers in the UK and Madeira, strike a balance between being true to yourself as an artist and contributing to group efforts?
Collaborating with fashion designers in the UK and Madeira is a delicate balance between expressing my artistic identity and contributing to a collective vision. Open communication and mutual respect are key. I find that by staying true to my unique style while appreciating the perspectives of others, we create a synergy that enhances the overall creative process.
Given your interest in sustainable methods, how do you think the fashion business can best address the problems it faces? What fresh insights can you offer?
The fashion industry needs a paradigm shift towards sustainability. Embracing circular economies, ethical sourcing, and responsible production practices are crucial. As artists and designers, we have the opportunity to influence this change by challenging norms and inspiring fresh perspectives on how fashion can be both beautiful and sustainable. Stella McCartney is renowned for her commitment to sustainable and cruelty-free fashion. Eileen Fisher is known for her eponymous brand's dedication to sustainability, to mention a few.
Please elaborate on the significance of sustainability to your fabric painting practice and the value it brings to your creative output.
Sustainability is integral to my fabric painting practice. Using eco-friendly materials and techniques not only reduces environmental impact but also adds depth and meaning to my creations. Each piece becomes a symbol of conscious artistry, fostering a connection between the audience and the environment.
Has bullying or criticism ever been an issue for you as someone with a distinct and individual style? In those trying times, how did you maintain your integrity?
Developing a distinct style invites varied reactions. In challenging times, I maintained my integrity by staying focused on my artistic vision and the positive impact I aimed to create. Criticism became an opportunity for growth, and I used it to refine and reinforce my commitment to sustainable and individualistic art.
Your path appears to be quite original and unorthodox. Give us an example of a turning point that affected your career in sustainable fashion and the arts.
A turning point in my career was when I decided I wanted to explore more sustainable environment after living so many years in London. But it was in London that my interested for sustainability started: London is a city and like any other big city it is polluted and produces pollution everyday, but also, the companies and the independent shops and activities are really committed to sustainability and in the last 3 years, amazing environmentally friendly places are open and they inspired me. London’s thriving zero-waste stores, such as Bulk Market and Hetu, became a source of inspiration. Encountering sustainable art installations and eco-friendly galleries in London, such as the Eden Project's art initiatives, demonstrated the potential for creativity to coexist with environmental responsibility. It marked a shift towards a more sustainable path, aligning my values with my artistic pursuits. This decision not only defined my approach to fashion and art but also opened doors to new opportunities and collaborations.
In a sustainable future, how do you think the fields of art and fashion will continue to converge, and what part do you want to play in this?
In a sustainable future, art and fashion will converge seamlessly. Artists will play a crucial role in influencing sustainable practices, creating pieces that tell stories of environmental stewardship. I envision being at the forefront, contributing to a future where art and fashion inspire positive change.
How do you convince people of the merits of sustainable fashion techniques, and what are the benefits of these practices in your opinion?
Communicating the merits of sustainable fashion involves educating and inspiring. Through workshops, collaborations, and showcasing the beauty of eco-friendly techniques, I aim to demonstrate that sustainability is not a compromise but an enhancement. The benefits lie in a harmonious relationship between artistic expression and environmental responsibility.
When you think about your artistic path and your contributions to sustainable fashion in the future, what interesting initiatives or goals come to mind?
Looking ahead, I am excited about initiatives that blend technology and sustainability in fashion. Exploring innovative materials, engaging in impactful collaborations, and continuing to be a voice for sustainable practices are goals that inspire my artistic journey. I’m soon starting to tour with my new show Fluttering Colours: a captivating and thought-provoking experience that takes audiences on a journey through the lens of a butterfly. With the grace of flight and the fragility of wings, the show metaphorically navigates the challenges of our changing world.
As the delicate Monarch butterfly, I will embody the spirit of adaptation and resilience, echoing the struggles faced by these remarkable creatures in the face of a shifting environment. Through a seamless blend of spoken word, mesmerising music, and stunning visual effects, the performance elegantly conveys the broader message of the impact of climate change on our planet. The Monarch butterfly serves as a powerful symbol, representing all life forms - humans included - affected by the shifting landscapes and disruptions caused by our changing climate. Fluttering Colours invites the audience to reflect on the fragility and interconnectedness of our world. It is a call to action, urging us to recognise the urgency of preserving the delicate balance of nature. The show highlights the profound consequences of human activity on the environment and emphasises the need for collective responsibility in safeguarding the planet for future generations. As the butterfly takes center stage, the performance becomes a captivating exploration of our shared responsibility to protect and nurture the Earth. With its compelling narrative and evocative presentation, the show captivates hearts and minds, leaving the audience inspired to engage in positive change and contribute to the preservation of our natural world.