Friday, May 7, 2010

Neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus

People have been asking to see the finished artworks, so I will post an image of each one over the next few days. Please note that they are not yet framed properly: the broken line in grey running stitch around the outside indicates the edge of the work. I am still pondering options for framing, although many people who saw the works at the Tuesday Talk showing said they liked the way they were displayed in the embroidery hoops.

This work, called Neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus, is based on Dr Adam Hamlin's microscope image, below. The embroidery is stylised and representational, attempting to capture an abstract understanding of the process of neurogenesis rather than making a visual copy of the original image. In this way, the work takes its inspiration from traditional embroidery stitches such as blackwork and hardanger, which started out as copies of natural forms but are now very geometric and stylised pattern-making stitches.

The work is hand-dyed silk thread on shantung silk, and uses chain stitch, French knots, seed stitch, straight stitch, long-legged fly stitch and running stitch. The long-legged fly stitches that represent the newborn brain cells reach their arms out towards the neurons in the rest of the brain, striving to make new connections and survive.

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