It is very good to have the projection work The Winter Tree up and running in City Space at Winchester Discovery Centre. It’s not far from where I live and work - I teach at Winchester Art School - and it’s where I like to first show pieces as to make a connection with the local community. For me, it is part of a dialogue I have with the city and an important interchange.
The piece is based, in part, on brain science and in part, on ecology and the environment. The work was made to revisit some of the science I looked at to make the earlier work, Magic Forest, when I lived in London 15 or more years ago, visiting the labs of Dr Richard Wingate at Kings College London. The science of the brain has come a long way since then, with many advances in technology opening up new ways to look the complexity of the brain, namely the technologies of Brainbow and Optogenetics. The work was also made as a response to looking at our embeddedness within our environment. Our view of this complexity has grown extensively over the last 20 years and is something I have been really interested in: how everything is networked.
So much networking is based on dendritic structure, the tree like form which is often the delivery system and the removal system of so many biological systems. We might best know it in our arterial and venal systems but this branching form is key to our nervous system and the functioning of our brain too.
This is the second outing for the work, the first being a test showing at the Arts School’s gallery. At each showing improvements are made to the work and a slightly different emphasis is made. It is hoped that the work is now ready for further exhibitions and will tour more widely in this country and abroad if opportunities permit.
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