Francis Crick, tripping (2006)

acrylic on canvas, 600mm x 600mm

Francis Crick is credited, along with James Watson [and to a lesser extent Rosalind Franklin] with the discovery of the structure of DNA.

On the surface it appears to be an everyday story of academic brilliance, however this article alludes to the fact that Crick was interested in the effects of LSD as a tool for promoting creative thought, and it has been suggested that the structure of DNA was revealed to Crick under the influence of the drug.

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Hexahedron #1 (2006)

Multi-layered cube – digitally printed acetate, acrylic paint 100mm x 100mm x 100mm

“To what extent can truth endure incorporation? That is the question; that is the experiment” – Nietzsche

An executive toy for the modern natural philosopher.

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Memento vita [self portrait with cortex exposed] (2006)

self portrait with cortex exposed

acrylic on canvas 510mm x 510mm

I’ve had the data from an experimental MRI scan of my head for a while, and this is the second piece of work inspired by it. I am fascinated by the extension to perception offered by technology, and am always astonished by the ability to ‘look inside’ a body without dissecting it, even more so when it’s my own. I’ve obviously painted the outside of myself a number of times before, but this is the first time I’ve looked below the surface.

Part of the motivation was in consideration of memento mori as a theme. The idea of painting skulls and other symbols of death, to remind the viewer of their own mortality has been around forever, however here I get to consider the contents of my skull and all that it entails for the embodiment of the self, prior to death. Science lets us do this.

Strangely, I found the process of painting my own brain quite affecting, and more disturbing than I expected.

UPDATE here’s a ‘fly through’ of my head, left ear to right:

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Gilly (2006)

acrylic on canvas 600mm x 600mm

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