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Colour and Consciousness


Event Status

Feeling blue? Seeing red? Green with envy? Colour is intrinsically linked with our moods and emotions, impacting and shaping the human experience. This panel delves into how it can be used as a persuasive medium for expression and communication.


Delving into the fascinating questions surrounding the complexity of consciousness, this Present Sense panel event explores current scientific and creative understandings of colour, and how it can be used as a persuasive medium for expression and communication.

Host Hilary Harper will be joined by Professor Nao Tsuchiya, a neuroscientist at Monash University aiming to mathematically describe human experience; Dr. David Sequeira, Director of the Fiona and Sidney Myer Gallery at the Victorian College of the Arts, and an artist whose works focus specifically on colour; and CJ Dobson, a renowned film and television colourist whose work includes Love Me and The Newsreader. 

Each offering their own perspective and expertise, together they’ll consider the richness and complexity of human colour perception, and how those experiences can be manipulated through art, science and technology.

Presented in partnership with Melbourne Monash Consciousness Research

Illustration: Megan Herbert


Wheelchair accessible

Accessible toilets available

You can learn more about the Wheeler Centre’s accessibility policies here. Please notify us of all access requirements when booking online so we can assist you with your visit. If you require further information, please contact reception on 03 9094 7800 or


Present Sense

In this series of talks we’ll hear from some big brains – neuroscientists, engineers, philosophers, psychologists and clinicians – at the forefront of interdisciplinary research in the consciousness field. They’ll discuss their work and its implications for Artificial Intelligence, mental health, aged care and even the survival of our specie

Present Sense


CJ Dobson

CJ has been a film colourist for over a decade at some of the industries leading post-production facilities. Over their career, CJ has collaborated with filmmakers on 100’s productions from high-end branded content through to episodic and feature films. Notably AACTA Award-winning The Newsread... Read more

Portrait of artist David Sequiera standing in front of shelves lined up with colourful ceramics and glassware
David Sequeira

Artist, curator and academic David Sequeira focusses on the use of colour and geometry in the creation of contemplative experiences. Using colour and geometry as ‘languages’, David works across media to explore issues around high and low art, personal and shared histories, banality and profundit... Read more

Portrait of Nao Tsuchiya
Nao Tsuchiya

Dr Tsuchiya was awarded a PhD at California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in 2006 and underwent postdoctoral training at Caltech until 2010. Receiving a PRESTO grant from Japan Science and Technology (JST) agency, Dr Tsuchiya returned to Japan in 2010. In Jan 2012, he joined the School of Psycho... Read more

Hilary Harper

Hilary Harper has a degree in English Literature and Cultural Studies, a Graduate Diploma in Professional Writing and Editing, and 30 years’ experience in radio. She’s been at the ABC since 2005. She’s covered everything from news and current affairs to traffic reporting, arts, health, gardeni... Read more


The Wheeler Centre

176 Little Lonsdale Street Melbourne Victoria 3000

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The Wheeler Centre acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation as the Traditional Owners of the land on which the Centre stands. We acknowledge and pay our respects to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their Elders, past and present, as the custodians of the world’s oldest continuous living culture.