It is with much delight and gratitude that I write today’s post. Synesthesia has been a topic that has fascinated me for many years. (New to my site? You should view my previous posts: Synesthesia in Art & Fashion and Joan Mitchell) It’s a topic I’ve researched extensively. I was recently invited to share my research with Exchanges: The Warwick Research Journal, published by The University of Warwick.
My article, Teaching Synaesthesia as a Gateway to Creativity, is now live and available for free download.
Please click this link: The Warwick Research Journal Murgia Article
This article encapsulates my experience of teaching creativity within a higher education curriculum. Creativity often eludes common understanding because it involves using different conceptual streams of thought, often times developing unconsciously and manifesting in the prized “eureka” moment. In 2009, I began explaining the neurological condition of synaesthesia and later introduced this phenomenology in a course designed to cultivate creativity to first year fashion design students. There are many challenges in teaching creativity. Through teaching this course, I discovered that the first challenge is making the students conscious of their own qualitative beliefs on creativity and art. The second is creating exercises to challenge and alter these beliefs, thus forming a new way of thinking and experiencing the world. The most resistance from my students arose when experimenting with non-representational art. They did not have a conscious framework for making and evaluating abstract art. Introducing synaesthesia, a neurologically-based condition that “merges” two or more sensory pathways in the brain, gave my students a framework for discovery. Understanding sensory modalities and ways in which these modalities can blended together in synaesthesia proved to be a gateway to creativity in many of my students. The scope of this article chronicles how I developed my teaching methodology, the results it created in my classroom, as well as its effects on my own artistic practice. (To read the full article, please visit: Teaching Synaesthesia as a Gateway to Creativity)
Many thanks to Dr. Karen Simecek, Catherine Snyder, Neira Kapo, David Lautz, Terry Hall, Dawn Marie Forsyth, and to all of my former students. This article would not have been possible without your assistance, encouragement, inspiration, and dedication to the pursuit of creativity.