Rebecca Fahey - the photographer that will help you see life in full colour

By Sarah Finnan

May 26, 2020 at 3:54pm


Rebecca Fahey, an Irish photographer living with synesthesia, sees the world in full colour and through her work she'll help you do the same.

Rebecca Fahey thinks in colours and sees in sound - all of the things that you thought were only possible in dreamland are actually a part of her in-real-life world and seeing things as she does would certainly make life a hell of a lot more interesting.

She experiences the world just as you and I do, except everything is more pronounced... more intense, more colourful. And of course, as someone who sees things just even more clearly, one might venture so far as to say that she was destined to become a photographer.

"I've thought in colour for as long as I can remember, particularly in school using colours in numbers and letters, I remember getting into trouble in primary school for drawing the numbers and colours the way I saw them."

Things began to make sense in college though when a chat with Rebecca's assessment tutor, combined with a little of her own research, led her to discover that she has synesthesia.

"I've always expressed such large amounts of vibrancy in my work as it always feels natural to me. With my photoshoots, I love using my multisensory techniques with clothing, makeup, and locations to emphasize my work. I've noticed people who are drawn to my work are always amazed by how vibrant my shoots are but, to be honest, my work just looks normal to me."

Well, if her work is just "normal" then she might have to lend me her dictionary as our definitions of the word differ slightly. One glimpse at Rebecca's photos will show you that they're vibrant and eye-catching and anything but normal or ordinary.

What is synesthesia though?

If you're unfamiliar with the term, let me, or rather my most recent findings on Google explain. Synesthesia is a neurological condition - one that causes the brain to process data in the form of several senses at once. So as mentioned above, everything is more. For example, someone with synesthesia may hear sounds while simultaneously seeing them as colourful swirls. Pretty cool if you ask me. Cooler still though is seeing that translate to art, which Rebecca manages to do through her photography.

Isolation creations have become all the rage as of late and while some may feel that as though their inspiration has dried up, Rebecca says that she's come into her own.

"My creativity has definitely peaked during quarantine. I feel like creative people always find a way to leap over obstacles or restrictions. I'm in the process of collaborating with different creatives at the moment through FaceTime which will be released soon."

And though travel bans are still in full effect, Rebecca has found ways to continue travelling the world through her latest creations. "I've also started editing images of myself in places I wanted to visit but couldn't." Putting her wanderlust to good use, the resulting images would make anyone excited to get back exploring the colourful world out there.

A New York City woman at heart, Rebecca is biding her time at home in Ireland until such time she can return to the Big Apple. "I'm currently in Ireland at the moment until COVID blows over and I can head back to NYC. As a designer, New York is really such an amazing place to explore your talents. I lived in Ireland for 22 years and wanted to seek out somewhere new for myself. I felt New York is so creatively open, I feel more confident in my work there."

Adding that she's done some "fine-tuning" since moving there,  the young photographer credits NYC with helping her to learn more about herself and her work. "I have met so many amazing designers, photographers, and stylists. I grew up in rural Kildare, I felt like my background was very minimal, so it really made me work harder to achieve my vision of what I wanted for myself and my work. Moving to New York, which is the complete opposite, was a culture shock for me but really made me open my eyes to so many opportunities."

Find more of Rebecca's work over on her Instagram, where she goes by the name I can't hear my eyes.

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