Monday, September 24, 2007


I went with my friend the Neuroscientist to an exhibition of artworks based on microscopic slides created by researchers at the Queensland Brain Institute. The Neuroscientist makes beautiful images of rat neurons and I have talked to him in the past about my desire of making some of them into embroideries, so we were both interested to see how another artist had tackled the job.
I was glad I persuaded the Neuroscientist to come because he was able to recognise and explain what the artworks represented. We had a great conversation with the gallery manager about her son's schizophrenia and the brain's role in addiction in general, then we admired the artworks: three dimensional representations of cells and cellular structures created using beads, sequins, fabric and paint (even bubble wrap).
The structure on the right of the catalogue cover above, a blue and green spiral, was described by the gallery manager as perhaps being representative of DNA. After she had left us, I indicated my scepticism to the Neuroscientist, saying that it didn't look like a double helix at all. He, of course, immediately recognised it as an opiate receptor -- which, apparently, comes out of the cell wall, makes exactly seven turns (he called them something else, like "involutions" or something similar - I'm afraid I've forgotten the term he used) then reenters the cell through the cell wall.
The talk of DNA served to remind me of this website and its pattern for knitted DNA. One of these days...

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