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 educate. The illustrative quality that underlies my work, takes references from formal methods used within scientific illustration, adopting highly accurate techniques of drawing. Meticulously intricate studies remain my current focus and I currently work on creating very detailed studies of animals, looking at the movement of the skin and fur and the patterns in which this creates.
Research is fundamentally important in my practice. It is a crucial factor in the success of any piece that references traditional concepts and historical practices. The significance of exploring presentation methods form a key step in the work I produce, providing me with ‘rules’ that I manipulate to artistic effect.
I am very interested in the view of microscopic studies, the patterns of skin of animals and humans and how this can be used to create patterns in the human sense.
PET of a Mini brain
All petri dishes will not be released for shipping until after the Petri Dish Project physical exhibition. If you would like it before then please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for arrangements.