Fragmentary Presents: Trees of the Brain, Roots of the Mind

“As neuroscience rapidly advances our ability to see both the brain’s ‘trees’ and its vastly intricate and diverse forests, we may find that the most beautiful landscape of all is the one within.” — Stephen J Smith (Trees of The Brain, Roots of the Mind, Dr Giorgio A. Ascoli)

For Photomonth 2015 artists Antonia Attwood, Liz Atkin and Daniel Regan present an exhibition woven together by the common thread of mental health. Each artist presents works in their infancy stage, exploring the notion of trees in contrasting states as a metaphor for the mind and our emotions.

Inspired by the book, ‘Trees of the brain, Roots of the Mind’ by Giorgio A. Ascoli. Antonia Attwood explores the brain as ‘the most complex object in the universe, an infinitesimal web of connections and communications formed of tens of billions of nerve cells through tiny tree like structures. The computational power of such an intricate information-processing system is apparent in the depth and breadth of every sentient beings life.’ (Giorgio A. Ascoli) Through metaphorical imagery Antonia questions how this organ that is ever present in human existence can also be so misunderstood.

Antonia Attwood

In her work Compulsive Charcoal Liz Atkin creates drawings following on from her travels to Wales, Norway and Scotland. These images — drawn from memory and imagination — are produced with charcoal sourced from willow trees on the site of Bethlem Royal Hospital. Imbued with a tactile and raw sense, a witness to the life and experience of Bethlem, it now bears testimony to her own compulsions.

Liz Atkin
Photo credit: Lenka Rayn H

In What Light, What Darkness Daniel Regan investigates the complex relationship between himself, his mother and their differing attachments to the childhood home. Inspired by childhood letters written to her during periods of emotional difficulties, Daniel uses the domestic environment as a site for reflection on both the past and present. In its infancy What Light, What Darkness investigates themes of the photographer’s mother’s present ill-health and his conflicting childhood memories through a mixture of photography and the presentation of unseen letters.

What Light, What Darkness

October 19th — 30th 2015
PV: 22nd, 6:30pm – 9pm (Facebook event)

The Depot, 38 Upper Clapton Road, London, E5 8BQ

Open daily (except Wednesday) 12pm — 6pm

Download press release PDF.