Charlotte Dunn

Resin, ink

 

ABOUT THE ARTWORK

For Alexander Fleming, leaving a petri dish out in the air let to his now famous discovery of antibiotics. For Madeline Lancaster, leaving stem cells in a shaker led to the discovery of a new model for neuroscience: brain organoids. These blobs of tissue, grown from human stem cells, resemble some of the essential parts of the human brain. Although they are as small as apple seeds, often known as Mini brains, they hold the key to understanding one of life’s great mysteries: the human brain.

 

Scientists have successfully grown mini brains that, for the first time, produce brain waves resembling those seen in embryos and preterm infants. They hope the mini brains will enable them to study early brain development as well as many other implications.

 

Of course, there are ethical implications of rebuilding the brain. Can these brains-in-a-dish achieve sentience and somehow sensing they’re being experimented on? By showing a mini-PET scan of a brain, a tool that is used to show the electrical activity within the brain, I hope the reflect the thinking and currents of the brain, reflecting on the ethical implications of creating a thinking brain in a petri dish.

 

ABOUT THE ARTIST

In my practice I aim to question and transform traditions that form the way we analyse and comprehend our environment. I have in the past concentrated on the idea of manipulating the idea of our historical quest for knowledge.

 

I look at manipulating scientific and natural history artefacts and locations, transforming their context through methods of presentation. The power that tools of presentation have to alter the context of a subject inspires me to transform objects, so that they have the effect of deceiving the viewer, looking at individual perception and what knowledge we gather from informative presentation.

 

Drawing is an essential medium within my practice. Methods of scientific illustration create a foundation for me to distort, commenting upon their purpose to