Camilo Golgi , pyrography , brain anatomy , nature/nurture
The Golgi Studies comprised a series of images of slices of the brain, drawn by burning into oak wood veneer. In the process of drawing the brain sections and articulating their form, the wood grain was revealed through the hardness and softness of the veneer, hence the drawing process could be considered a metaphor for the nature/nurture dynamic and brain plasticity. The small burn marks resembled that of the brown neurons revealed in the slides produced by Camilo Golgi, the neuroanatomist who discovered how to stain and render visible, a complete neuron. The center of each image was sanded through the veneer to expose the underlying particleboard, suggesting a scotoma or blind spot. Each image was framed with an ornate frame that had a scallop/kidney-shaped form common within the brain.
Catalogue essay by Catherine Crowston, curator, Art Gallery of Alberta, Edmonton, AB.
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