Vladimir Nabokov's "Alphabet in Colour", Jean Holabird, 2005, at the Wellcome Collection was an excellent opportunity to see Synesthesia be displayed visually in an exhibition and moreover the first time I have seen pieces inspired and based on synesthesia in real life.
Naturally I disagreed with the majority of colour associations. People have asked me "how can you disagree?", the easiest way to describe it is in terms of information: "N" (yellow) for me, is not presented as two pieces of information which come together: YELLOW + N. The information of YELLOW and N is one. N is YELLOW, but this does not work backwards, YELLOW is not N. When I see the information N I don't go on the think YELLOW, but rather NYELLOW or YELLOWN. The information is one.
After viewing the exhibition, the exit led to another room in which the Wellcome Collection asked you to contribute to an exercise. You were ask to visually illustrate words, this had a strong link with synesthesia and produced varying outcomes of drawings:
I've just noticed that the images I selected, amidst a wall full of visual representations, are those of women. Statistically, synesthesia is more common in women. It should also be noted that I selected these images because they did not simple draw a picture of the word, but a visual representation of what the word "looks like" in their mind. Nor did I choose the illustrations which purely served to advertise skill over content.
I see value in this for my own research, such as asking people to illustrate a word and comparing the images against people with synesthesia and people without. This would require a large test group, my Foundation group might fit this size.