Artists Are Present at BNA Festival of Neuroscience 2015

Our Artists Artist Are Present initiative gave 10 artist the opportunity to attend the BNA2015: Festival of Neuroscience in Edinburgh celebrating it’s 50 year anniversary. The conference took place from 12-15 April 2015. Artists were given the chance to display works at the conference with the opportunity to meet with scientists and be inspired by the world of neroscience. As a whole the experience for artists was a positive one with some great feedback about the opportunities this initiative is creating…

‘Meeting the other artists on the day was very enjoyable and has broadened my creative network. I was also pleased to discover that I already knew a couple of people present at the Festival, (one musician: one geneticist), and I was glad of the opportunity to re-establish contact. An inspiring and enriching experience.’– Emily Beckmann

BNA-2015Photo by Jason Kimmings

Attending the conference also enables artists and scientists to communicate directly and providing the opportunity to develop relationships with the chance for future collaboration…

‘I found it a great opportunity and I met a scientist from the University of Manchester with really interesting work exploring the link between the human microbiome and autism’– Victoria Shennan

We had a variety of selected artists attending the conference including artists working in a number of diverse disciplines most of who had previously created work in relation to the art of the brain. Our selected artists attending the conference included:

Harry_Whalley[1]Photo curtosy of artist

Harry Whalley

Belfast born composer, Harry Whalley started his musical career by playing keyboards in Jazz and Funk bands. His compositional interests are wide, and include a sonic realisation of the book; Gödel Escher Bach by Douglas Hofstadter. In the past few years the Hebrides Ensemble, Artisan Trio, Red Note Ensemble, Vancouver Miniaturists Ensemble, Edinburgh Contemporary Music Ensemble, Gildas Quartet, Edinburgh Quartet, Eunoia Quintet and many others have performed his music. Exploring the intersection of music neurotechnology for sound synthesis and brain-computer interfaces using neural patterns from electroencephalography (EEG) as a control instrument.

Moyra-Campbell[2]Photo curtosy of artist
Moyra Campbell

With a PhD in molecular biology and M.Phil in Motion Graphics, Moyra creates artwork in the areas of science and technology, mainly in the sphere of digital practice. Her work encompasses both fine art installation and educational material. She aims to create imaginative and exciting work through the use of innovative technologies, state of the art computer graphics and new and effective learning strategies and to inspire people to consider the universe and life forms in all their complexity. Moyra set up ‘Wiretrace’ which won a nationwide competition celebrating 50 years of open University. The brain trilogy was the main focus of the resulting work.

Emily_Beckmann[2]Photo curtosy of artist
Emily Beckmann

Emily Beckmann has a background in Creative Arts and is currently enrolled on MPhil Textiles at Heriot Watt University. I wish to research the crossover between gestural communication, Installation Art and the new discipline of ‘Fashion Film’. One of Emily’s main research assumptions is that there is a correlation between sensory experiences and emotion sensations with physical gestures being expressive of emotional sensations. Emily also focusses on patterns of motion dependant of human form.

Corinne_Jola[1]Photo curtosy of artist
Corinne Jola

Corinna Jola is interested in studying how we perceive, sense, and represent the body and its movements. In particular the underlying research and practice is informed by dance and cognitive neuroscience. Her research embodied practices is call ‘Embodied Neuroscience’. Corinne analyses neuronal responses of passive dance spectators in order to better understand their cognitive and emotional engagement with the dancer’s movements. In Corinne’s choreographic work she aims to unlock the “natural” expressions present within each performer and to make those “ubiquitous” intentions visible.

Victoria-Shennan[1]Photo curtosy of artist
Victoria Shennan

Victoria Shennan is an interdisciplinary maker, with a background in applied arts and is currently studying at the Royal College of Art for an MA in Jewellery and Metal. Victoria’s current project is in collaboration with a biochemist and a composer, to create a sound piece translating bacteria into music for The Eden Project in Cornwall. Based on a year of research in conversation with scientists, this project illustrates tenacity, vision and coordination skills; bringing together people from 3 different disciplines to find inspiration in where our languages cross.

Emma_Bowen[1]Photo curtosy of artist
Emma Bowen

Emma Bowen makes work as an artist and filmmaker in educational, community, health care and therapy settings and often works alongside other creative practitioners to facilitate and document participatory and collaborative-based art sessions. Emma has made observational documentaries promoting the benefits of arts on the mind (visual arts, music and drama) in stroke recovery/therapy and mental health and collaborative experimental short films exploring sound, play, self-expression and cognition.

Ninela Ivanova[1] copyPhoto by Jason Kimmings
Ninela Ivanova

Ninela Ivanova is a fashion and textiles designer currently in the process of completing a Design PhD at Kingston University London. Nina was introduced to the concept of neuroplasticity and began to see the link between designing and creatively innovating textiles and fabrics and the potential for intelligent design of fashion products to educate, communicate, and inspire audiences to engage with the concept of consciously activating plasticity through mind-training.

Cath Keay

Cath Keay uses a range of techniques to make work that is transformative or ephemeral relying on natural, dynamic processes such as the action of insects or the elements to alter the final form of sculptures. Cath is interested in depictions of formlessness, using materials to capture abstract things. The conference allowed Cath to centre on psychological concepts such as non-verbal social interaction, self-awareness and sense of embodiment, our knowledge of which is being transformed by advances in neuroscience.

Liam Jarvis

Liam Jarvis’s research interests include Devising and Contemporary Performance Making, Experimental Neuroscience, the Embodiment and Body Transfer Illusions in Performance, Immersive Performance and Participation Performance In the Dark. Liam is currently Co-Artistic Director of Analogue, a devising theatre associate company at Shoreditch Town Hall and Farnham Maltings and was an Affiliate of the National Theatre Studio.

Shaza Sabbagh

Shaza Shabbaghe is a jewellery designer, currently completing a practice based PhD research degree at the University of the Arts London and explores the application of digital technology to inform new types of body adornment influenced by the human body and surrounding cultural norms. Shaza was introduced to psychology through a her BA which gave good grounding in the discipline, followed by a workshop in chromotherapy (colour therapy). A brief introduction to Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) at Birkbeck University London was Shaza’s first fascination with the power of the mind.

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