A collaborative project with neuroscientist Professor Elaine Perry, Emeritus Professor, Newcastle University and Curator, Dilston Physic Garden.
The project seeks to establish visual relationships between the structure of the brain and that of the medicinal snowdrop plant Galanthus and to explore the dynamics of the chemical interactions which take place in the brain involving galantamine, a chemical produced by the plant.
Galantamine is being used to treat those suffering with memory disorders. It supports synaptic structural integrity and synaptic transmission by restoring the neurotransmitter acetylcholine.
Works have been developed using micrographs provided by Arthur Oakley, Electron Microscopist, and Senior Member of the Neurovascular Research Group, Institute of Neuroscience at the University of Newcastle. In two series of images (Cipher and Signifier) micrographs of amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles, found in the tissue of the cortex, have been combined with photographs of the flower through digital montage.
Macro and micro-photography of the plant was undertaken with Adrian Newman, Photographer, of the ‘Anatomy Visual Media Group’, Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience, University of Cambridge and with the support of Dr Jeremy Skepper, Technical Director of the Cambridge Advanced Imaging Centre, of the same department.
These images are beautiful – in part because the chemical alleviates the suffering of people with memory loss and in part because of the creative skills of our Artist in Residence.
Professor Elaine Perry