Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Affecting Perception: Art and Neuroscience

I’ve just returned from being involved in a fascinatingly different art project which may very well make me look at my artistic practice in a new way.

Affecting Perception: Art and Neuroscience is an exhibition and a series of seminars. It brings together examples of work by artists with different neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s, Dementia, Autism, Asperger syndrome and, in my case, Migraine.

I was participating in a seminar led by Cosima Gretton (one of the curators of the exhibition)with Dr Klaus Podoll of Aachen university. I was reconnecting with Klaus Podoll after some  years as he has interviewed me and written about my work on many occasions since 1997. It turned out to be a very interesting and informative event, with good audience interaction. Although Dr. Podoll and I have communicated  often over the years by snail mail, e-mail and fax (whatever that was), by both being in the same room and in front of an audience resulted in a different dynamic. Him commenting on my work and explaining some of the more technical aspects of  migraine  was somehow more exciting and real. Unfortunately, we only briefly touched on the subject of Giorgio De Chirico, one of my favourite artists and almost certainly a migraine sufferer.

The gallery is a circular building which was originally part of Oxford Castle prison It’s a challenging space to hang an exhibition, having grey walls and a staircase down the middle and quite small. But the shape and intimacy was perfect for a show to do with the brain. Even without knowing that it was to do with neuroscience, the exhibition was compelling because there was an underlying feeling that the work came from a strange place, darker in parts than others. It would have been interesting for people to have seen it under the title Affecting Perception first and then again with the words Art and Neuroscience added. I know, too difficult but in a non recession world maybe…….

The exhibition is still on at the O3 Gallery,  until 31st March and the catalogue is excellent and informative reading.

It was great meeting up with Klaus Podoll again and we are going to pick up  working together - on the subject of ‘elective affinity‘- once I’ve got to grips with the concept!

Congratulations to AXNS collective for envisaging and realising a ground breaking event, which I was very pleased to be part of.


  1. Hi, I'm currently writing a blog piece about art/neuroscience and I am wondering, in referencing your work, whether I would be correct in saying that (some of) your work is a direct representation of what you have actually 'seen' whilst suffering from migraines? If not, would you mind giving a quick explanation of how your work is related to migraine.
    Thank you.

    1. Hi
      Thanks for your interest. The best explanation of my work can be found here
      Best wishes