zine, [zeen] noun. 1. abbr. of fanzine; 2. any amateurly-published periodical. Oxford Reference


Sunday, April 15, 2018


A5, 20 colour pages
£3.62 (+ £3.62 p&p)

Synaesthesia (the condition) is sensory confusion. Your house tastes like cake. Your lover’s voice smells like fresh cut grass. Your favourite song feels crunchy. The number seven is green, for some reason.

Synesthesia (the zine) dives headfirst into delirium. Stacey Matchett evokes a sense of desperate, inescapable confusion in her pastel colour palettes, bold rainbow scribbles and delicate black linework - it’s a beautiful assault on the senses. 

Usually when poetry and artwork appear together in print, the images end up playing second fiddle; they usually serve as garnish, pretty pictures to illustrate the words. Matchett turns this convention on its head. The bright images dominate the pages of this zine, holding hostage the reader’s psyche and rendering the accompanying poetry somewhat redundant. It’s not that the poetry is particularly poor, more that within the psychedelic pages of Synesthesia its role is secondary to the artwork.

When I first encountered Matchett’s work in volume one of Break the Chain, I described it as “grunge expressionism”. Reading through Synesthesia, it seems clear to me now that her work is too nebulous to fit within that category; her art style shifts throughout the pages, and yet each drawing bears her stylistic signature.

Matchett does a great job of creating a collection of artwork centred upon a theme without falling into predictability – each page explores a different facet of a disorganised mind and does so with a touching vulnerability.

You can buy your copy of Synesthesia here.

Review by J.L. Corbett

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