Another synapse quilt and a blood brain barrier too!

I have neglected to announce here that I will be in the Art of Neuroscience Exhibit at the annual Neuroscience Convention in Washington, DC from Nov 15-19.  Greg DunnLia Cook, Megan McGlynnMichele Banks, and Kathleen Childress will also be there. There are two sessions open to the public, the first is on Saturday, the 15th, from 11 am to 1 pm and the second is Tues, Nov 18 from 3-5pm (I believe).

One of the things I love about creating art in the neuroscience field is how wide open it is.  I can choose any number of things to focus on, from experimental subjects (like jellyfish and octopuses) to data (as in the action potential graph I did) down to the matter on a microscopic level.  These two quilts were inspired by images that were taken under a microscope. If the green one looks familiar, it should. It was inspired by the same image that I used for the black and white synapses.  The second picture is my rendition of a blood brain barrier inspired by this image by Ben Brahim Mohammed.

If you are looking for more pictures, I have posted a bunch on Twitter. (note that not quite all the pictures/videos here are my quilts, but most of them are.) Please feel free to ask me questions!

greensynapses

bloodbrainbarrier

Storytime

One of the goals I have with my art quilts is to try to convey a sense of story. With that in mind, I want to show you the path my mind took to get to this quilt.

One of the images I came across when looking at pictures of neurons was a picture comparing galaxies to neurons.  I am pretty sure I saw that after I saw a picture of city lights compared to neurons. I thought, wow, that is awesome and tucked the thoughts and images away.

A few months later, I was at the Hayden Planetarium listening to the dulcet tones of  Neil deGrasse Tyson croon about the universe. Relaxed, I let his words wash over and through me as I watched pictures of stars, galaxies, and planets move overhead.  And then I thought “what if the universe were a brain? and what if galaxies were neurons?” And, “what if the ocean was a brain? and jellyfish were neurons?” I almost leapt out of my seat, ready to go play, but stayed tethered to watch the rest of the show.

Life got hold of me. It took me away from the sewing machine for a bit. But still I noodled with this idea of stars and galaxies being neurons.  Then I saw a picture of neurons that seemed like they could be shooting stars and I knew I had to make shooting neuron stars, but how?  One day, I walked into a sewing store and there before my eyes was this iron-on thread. I had found it! I knew how I was going to make my shooting neuron stars.

 

Shooting Neuron Stars