I have recently been experimenting with collage. I particularly love to collect old bits of found ephemera and leaflets on the street and manipulate them along with photography into my illustration work. I saw an exhibition a few months ago that featured some of the work of Jesse Treece and Kurt Schwitters (see below) and I found it so inspiring. I went home right afterwards and began looking though my sketchbooks and folders of bits and bobs and piecing things together.
My partner, Nick Hagger is a neuroscientist. We talk often about how different our jobs are. He sits in a lab all day doing experiments on and writing about the brain and I sit in an office at a desk making websites and designs. He has to follow very strict protocols and research techniques whereas I'm always trying to find new ways to solve aesthetic problems which stray from the rigid and boring. When I write it like that, our jobs sound very different.
However in many ways we do a lot of similar stuff. We both engage in creative problem solving. Just as I am faced with a dilemma when trying to design a clean mobile interface for a feature heavy webshop, Nick faces dilemmas when conceiving experiments to identify and explore new brain cell types.
Arts and science are commonly divided into two cultures which are expected to be seperate and each is expected to have nothing to say about the other, however both art and science exist on a spectrum of human experience and combining artistic and scientific approaches can yield insight and understanding about each other.
Nick sent me a photo that he took down a microscope of a brain cell (a granular cell of the dentate gyrus) which had a dye injected into it and I thought it was so cool. He had cut out this brain cell himself from a section of brain containing the hippocampus. It amazed me that we are able to see something so small. I was imagining the brain as this huge tapestry and I was imagining that Nick was allowing me to zoom into it so I could see this one pixel.
I decided to use this image in a mixed media illustration of the brain. I also used a photo of "spaghetti junction" - a famously complicated motorway junction in the UK, to illustrate the constant, busy and complicated flow of information from the brain to the rest of the body. Using art we can make science more understandable and exciting for everyone. Here is my illustration: