A dress, snagged upon a decaying branch is brought together with a responsive film of neuron birth and differentiation.
20 years after their ground-breaking collaboration, Primitive Streak, Neurogenesis is made in creative partnership with the innovative digital agency Holition.
In 1997 Helen and Kate created one of the first ever art science collaborations under the Wellcome Trust’s banner, Sci Art. Since then Primitive Streak (a fashion and textile collection that elucidates the first 1000 hours of human life) has been seen by 3 million people, in over 50 venues in 7 countries and still engenders wonder and public acclaim. Two pieces from the collection are on permanent display in the Reading Room at the Wellcome Collection, London and in the Fashion gallery at National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh.
The work is supported by LifeSpace and Wellcome and will launch on March 23rd 2018 in Dundee at Centrespace
Neurogenesis is part of the VRC at 20 programme at Centrespace celebrating the history of Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design's Visual Research Centre in Dundee Contemporary Arts.
DCA, 152 Nethergate, Dundee DD1 4DY
Live imaging of neurogenesis by Dr Raman Das in Kate Storey's laboratory, processed (slowed and framed blended) using Twixtor in collaboration with Holition.
New nerve cells are generated in adult brains as well as in the developing embryo. In humans, much evidence suggests that this takes place in the hippocampus, where new neurons are proposed to sustain learning and memory. Most recently we have been exploring this link to human experience, working on ways to combine movies of neurons being born within an installation that further connects this process to how the nervous system changes with experience and age .
More about the science of neurogenesis
Detail of the dress bodice -'Late life’
Early sketch by Helen Storey, 2016
The dress is designed with found materials that nature has acted upon over time.
To facilitate interaction within the work Helen and Kate have partnered with leading innovation studio, Holition.
Helen’s poignant dress, snagged across a decaying branch, is designed with materials nature has acted upon over time; serving as a central metaphor for changing and aging biological structures. From within this emerges dynamic images of cells dividing and then differentiating into new nerve cells which extend long projections to seek out their targets and create the scaffold of the developing nervous system.
Within this surrounding of generation and degeneration, the near 360° installation uses motion tracking sensors to activate this intimate experience. Viewers are directed to follow cells as they progress through Neurogenesis, movement of the viewer triggering sequential steps in this extraordinary generative process.
This responsiveness helps to reveal the developmental process to the participant. The work challenges us to think about how the nervous system forms and changes during life and how this relates to our lived experience of neural functions and their degeneration.
Kate is Professor of Neural Development and Head of the Division of Cell and Developmental Biology at University of Dundee.
more info ⟶
This new work was inspired by the central theme of Kate’s research into neurogenesis or the making of neurons. Kate investigates the cellular and molecular basis of this fundamental process. Live imaging of cell behaviour within the developing nervous system is a key approach used by her group.
Since Kate and Helen’s initial work “Primitive Streak”, Kate has developed and mentored numerous science-art inter-disciplinary projects. She uses this approach to explore new ways of sharing scientific understanding and new discoveries with the general public. Kate is a member of the steering group for the innovative LifeSpace Science Art research gallery.
Helen is Professor of Fashion and Science at the Centre for Sustainable Fashion, University of the Arts London, London College of Fashion and founder and Co-Director of The Helen Storey Foundation.
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Her work since 1997 ( following her years as a fashion designer) has experimented with the surface and structure of materials to either elucidate an aspect of science in an imaginative and memorable way, or to co create solutions, which address key challenges to our environment and ways in which we live.
This collaboration, incorporates the original science discovery with ‘dress’, emergent technology, film, and materials changed by environment and time.
Since Primitive Streak, Helen has used ‘dress’ as an unexpected mechanism for introducing complex science and ideas and on this occasion, linking this to human experience as well.
Holition is a creative innovation studio: a synthesis of retail scientists, film-makers, artists, mathematicians, UX designers and other curious minds, united by digital empathy towards consumer experience.
Part think-tank part digital studio, Holition crafts bespoke experiences for industry leaders across the luxury, fashion, beauty, arts and academia sectors to provoke new dialogue through experience.
Helen Storey Foundation will work with the sisters to produce and tour the work.
The work will be premiered as part of LifeSpace's programme in Centrespace, in the Visual Research Centre at Dundee Contemporary Arts,
March 23rd to April 21st 2018
Open Monday - Saturday. 11am-5pm.
Preview: Thursday 22 March 2018, 5-7pm
Film showing the work being installed and the Private View at Dundee, March 21st and 23rd 2018, shot and edited by Tommy Howard, Holition.