Artist Helen Pynor visited the Basal Ganglia Lab on the 23rd June. Helen's artworks often involve scientific concepts and she has a particular interest in biology. In her work Helen is interested in attempting to incorporate a holistic view of the body, considering the biological basis as well as cultural concept of self. Prior to her current profession as a fine artist (including completing her PhD at the University of Sydney), she had a brief career as a scientific researcher. This may have influenced her approach to her art practice, which is highly research-driven.
Megan Dowie showed Helen some of the equipment and techniques we use, from the gross level of sectioning whole brains, through to immunohistochemistry and the nano-scale of electron microscopy. Helen enjoyed her visit to the Unit, saying it was great to actually see the processes we use to obtain our data, as well as seeing the beauty of neurons down the microscopes.
There is currently a show of Helen Pynor's work at GV Art Galleryin London until 2 July.
More of Helen's work can be viewed on her website.
Liquid Ground 1 (detail), Helen Pynor, 2010, C-type photograph, 160 x 110cm. Courtesy the artist and GV Art, London.Headache (detail), Helen Pynor, 2008, C-type photograph, 173 x 39cm. Courtesy the artist and GV Art, London.
In a recent publication an interesting art-science collaboration is described. Do You Mind? paired early career neuroscientists with artists to develop cross-disciplinary dialogue, and innovative artworks. The project was initiated and co-curated by Bolam Group member Dr Megan Dowie before she joined the ANU.
On Monday 7th November the Basal Ganglia labs were visited by a class of graduate art students studying a Masters level course in Art and Science, at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design (University of the Arts London). These artists are interested in using science as an influence in their art practice.
We are pleased to welcome Miss Husniye Hacioglu Bay to the Unit as a Visiting Student. Husniye is currently studying for her PhD at the Neuroscience Programme of Marmara University, Turkey. She joins the Unit to receive advanced training and pursue her anatomical projects, as part of a collaboration between Prof. Umit Sehirli and Unit scientists Dr. Juan Mena-Segovia and Prof. Paul Bolam.
A Nervous Encounter charts the creative interaction between scientists in the Basal Ganglia labs at the MRC Anatomical Neuropharmacology Unit and artists studying on the new interdisciplinary MA Art and Science programme based at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London.
Over a period of months laboratory interactions have resulted in shared insights into themes ranging from current brain research and equipment, to the passion and patience involved in our neuroscience.
Yesterday, another class of artists came to visit the Basal Ganglia labs. It is the beginning of term, and the new first year students on the Central Saint Martins MA Art and Science Programme are straight into an introduction to a biomedical research lab.