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Gallery II

Immy Smith - Patterns of mutation

Mon 7th Sept - Thurs 8th Oct 2015 at Gallery II

Opening times 11am – 5pm, Monday to Friday (Thursdays until 6pm).

During the final week of Patterns of Mutation artist Immy Smith will be in Gallery II drawing in the exhibition’s large format book.  This document investigates the  imagery and objects which are important to different people involved in brain tumours and their research. Drop in to find out more.

If you are travelling and would like to confirm what times Immy will be in the Gallery that day ring 01274 235495.

Immy Smith - The Heterogeneity Experiment

(Image: Immy Smith - Heterogeneity Array)

Patterns of Mutation is an exhibition of artwork by Immy Smith, created through experiments with scientists as part of Connecting Narratives, a Leverhulme-funded interdisciplinary artist’s residency.  Immy Smith is artist in residence at Portsmouth University’s Brain Tumour Research Centre, where she uses visual art to investigate, illustrate and connect stories; both the scientific stories of brain tumour, and the human narratives of patients, family members, and carers affected by brain tumours. 

The artworks from this experiment explore the biological variability that creates major challenges in treating brain tumours, which remain one of the most difficult groups of cancers to treat. Large-scale works use pattern and colour to examine how non-uniformity - both between and within tumours - contributes to making brain tumours such devastating diseases. Through a large format book, imagery and objects important to different people involved in brain tumours and their research are investigated. The aim is to seek connections and share narratives with a wider audience, using non-exclusive imagery, to make both the scientific and the personal aspects of these devastating cancers accessible and understandable to a wider audience. 

Why brain tumours?

Brain tumours are a uniquely difficult form of cancer to treat; access to our brains is constrained by our skulls, and the brain is something no-one can do without or replace! Brain tumours are highly variable - they may contain different populations of cells, some of which can be very resistant to treatment. Cancerous cells in a brain tumour may infiltrate surrounding brain tissue, hiding in plain sight, and making the edges of brain tumours hard to find for surgeons. The consequences of this can be devastating for patients and their families. Yet despite brain tumours being the most common solid tumour of childhood, and the leading cause of cancer death in adults under 40; research into brain tumours receives a very small proportion of total cancer research spend. Brain tumours are under-funded and under-studied.

Immy Smith

Immy Smith is currently Leverhulme artist in residence at Portsmouth University’s Brain Tumour Research Centre. Her artwork combines detailed drawing, collage, and scientific imagery, focusing on constructing hidden stories using unusual combinations of form. She is greatly influenced by biological textures and motifs, and their human interpretation.

How can we investigate the unique nature and challenges of brain tumours with art? How can we help raise awareness and illuminate the human stories behind these cancers? How can we share our hope for the future as well as the stark reality facing people affected by brain tumours? These are the questions this residency is focussed on, using visual arts and interdisciplinary research.

Immy Smith - The Heterogeneity Experiment 2 Immy Smith - The Heterogeneity Filters

Image left: Immy Smith - Heterogeneity Experiment. Image right: Immy Smith - Heterogeneity Filters

Also: As part of Transformations: North Parade After Dark event on Tuesday 8th September you can get creative with Immy Smith and the scientists she works with. View historical images of brain tumour cells and look at slides under a microscope. Use colourful inks to make hundreds of uniquely beautiful patterns, mirroring the way brain cells undergo transformation into hundreds of different brain tumours.

British Science Festival Brain Tumour research logo