From Times Online:
A colour-blind artist who could only recognise black and white shades has learnt how to paint with a full palette by “hearing” the hues he cannot see.
Neil Harbisson, 25, has been fitted with a device called an Eyeborg, which converts 360 colours into different sounds.
Now he is to mount his first London exhibition, showing city scenes such as red phone boxes in London and brightly coloured recycling banks in Barcelona.
Harbisson, whose exhibition will arrive in London in April, after opening in Barcelona, said: “When I paint it is as if I am composing music on a canvas.”
As an art student at Dartington College of Arts in Devon, he painted only in black and white because that is all he saw. But three years ago he met Adam Montandon, a cybernetics expert who came to give a lecture at the college.
After the talk, Montandon was told of Harbisson’s condition and he took up the challenge of solving the problem, enabling Harbisson to paint in colour. The artist suffers from achromatopsia – or complete congenital colour blindness.
Montandon decided to harness the way in which different colours reflect light at different frequencies, with light vibrating fastest from violet and slowest from red.
The first device fitted to Harbisson’s head was fairly primitive, letting him “hear” only six colours. His current model is far more sophisticated, giving him access to 360 colours.