This year I began a new body of work exploring visual snow disorder a little more and produced several works based on the dancing colours and shapes I see at night. Hopefully it will help raise awareness of the condition. So if you are finding this post by searching for visual snow, hi, I'm Jennifer and I'm an artist and designer based in Brisbane, Australia. I've had visual snow all my life. Some of my earliest childhood memories are watching the kaleidoscopic patterns of colourful dots at night to go to sleep. It’s all I’ve known.
If it wasn’t for a conversation in my early 20s I’d probably never have known how I see isn’t considered ‘normal’. I had a slight headache, someone asked if I was ok and I replied “the dots are a bit intense today”. That led to finding out the entire office didn't see dots! So when I got home I rang my mother and yes she could see the dots. I asked my dad, he didn’t know what we were talking about. I rang my sister and she didn’t know either. I rang my brother - yeah the dots what about them?! So at least I knew I wasn’t going mad which was lucky becasue when I mentioned it to a doctor they advised me not to tell people I was 'seeing things'! It also led to issues at work being a designer at the time. "How can you say that colour is ok if you see dots everywhere?" So I stopped trying to find out more.
When my son came along in 2013 I had renewed interest in finding out what it was. For me lack of sleep makes visual snow symptoms far more intense and nothing like a new baby for sleep deprivation! It tuned out by then people actually knew what it was and it had a name.
Ever since I was a child I had painted what I saw - colourful dots and lots of pattern in my art. Today my work is focused on pattern and visual perception. I paint very decorative abstracts with circles, dots and other patterns. I often refer to this as abstract pointillism. I distort photography by weaving images together and often end up with a lot of kaleidoscopic pieces. Being born with VS I am very used to the symptoms. I think you learnt to look through it a bit more growing up with it. Although some days it can be difficult I like to think of it as a hidden beauty only a few of us can see.
I have started a facebook group for visual snow artists, creatives, designers so if you would like to join in you can find it here: visual snow artists on facebook.
Jennifer is a contemporary Australian artist based in Brisbane, Queensland. Know for her highly decorative paintings and unique paper weavings, she explores pattern and visual perception, often highlighting the beauty in the ordinary.