Following the exhibition at the King’s College London Anatomy Museum 2-3rd February, the Narrating Plasticity exhibition moved to the Inigo Rooms for another week of public display…
After the vast space of the Anatomy Museum, it was interesting seeing how the exhibition adapted to the very different space of the King’s College London Inigo Rooms. The exhibition itself had to become plastic, and find new forms and structures with which to tell its story…
The Inigo Rooms at the King’s College London Cultural Institute served as an apt dark crypt for Amanda Doidge’s disturbing mutating cups
The scientists’ own plastic creations was displayed alongside images of their trips to the ceramics workshop…
Thanks so much to everyone who left their comments and contact details in the comments book. We had reactions from artists, scientists, surgeons, environmental activists, therapists…. We are excited to continue the conversation with you all, and see where the Narrating Plasticity project leads in the future…
Theatre designer Isabelle Lacombe visits the exhibition whilst visiting London from Canada…
Isabelle has been a close friend of mine for years, but we are usually separated by the Atlantic Ocean. It was so special to be able to take her around the Narrating Plasticity exhibition in person, and hear her reactions to it. Isabelle is a theatre designer and prop maker, so it was fascinating to hear about what plasticity and plastic creation means to her on both a conceptual and practical level.
Professor Patrick French, who supervises my PhD thesis on plasticity in contemporary French thought and culture, comes to visit the exhibition…
The Narrating Plasticity project film was displayed in the Inigo Rooms cinema… here is professor Catherine Malabou lecturing about the neuroplastic brain and the epigenetic human. Malabou’s work on plasticity has influenced the project throughout, with Amanda Doidge and the neuroscientists reading key texts of hers. Malabou’s work is also largely the subject of my PhD thesis: “The Coming of Plasticity: Transforming Change in Contemporary French Thought, Literature and Film”
Because I clearly just couldn’t help myself…
And here I am with my own brain. These two scans were taken before and after my endoscopic third ventriculostomy in December 2015. The brain on the left hand side exhibits hydrocephalus, whereas the post-operative brain’s ventricular system looks thankfully a lot healthier! This photo was taken the day of my annual brain scan and check up, and my surgeon Mr Bassel Zebian called later in the day to tell me he had been engaging with the Narrating Plasticity project…
Dr Anna Kolliakou works at the Cultural Institute and the Institute of Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience at King’s College London. As Knowledge Exchange Associate, Anna has been the project advisor for Narrating Plasticity from the very beginning. I absolutely could not have done this without her imagination, enthusiasm, support (both practical and emotional), and her brute dynamism when it comes to dealing with emails. Anna, thank you so much.
Cups, Trauma, and Heraclitus: Recalling my very first visit to meet the ceramicist Amanda Doidge at her workshop in Walthamstow
I first emailed the ceramicist
Amanda Doidge to see if she would be interested in collaborating on the Narrating Plasticity project on a beautiful summer’s day in 2016. I had been fascinated by her dark, destructive ceramics and her interest in arts and science collaboration. I clicked send and went back out into my garden in Wolverhampton to listen to Girls Aloud in the sun, not expecting to be contacted for a week or two.
Just ten minutes later Amanda called, asking if I would like to visit her in her studio in Walthamstow to discuss the project. I was very excited.
Two weeks later and I was on the tube to Walthamstow Central. Amanda showed me straight to her studio where her art work was being displayed as part of the
E17 Art Trail.
Amanda’s workshop was set up displaying her work from the E17 Art Trail, where artists from all over Walthamstow open their studios to the general public. This piece is her series entitled: Kill or Cure
Placards explaining the thinking behind Amanda’s ceramics series Kill or Cure and ‘The Angel Inside’
‘The Angel Inside’
Single cup from the series ‘The Angel Inside’
Amanda told me that she was interested in series because she wanted to bring her ceramics to life somehow. Series of cups told a story. Amanda told me she liked how a series could either be a multitude of different cups, or display the same cup at different moments in its transformation.
To put the ceramics in series introduces the element of time into the ceramics.
Kill or Cure, the cup appears to deform over a period of time, falling back under the weight of its handle. Each cup had been fired with an increasing amount of lithium in it, with the higher doses causing higher levels of deformation.
Amanda and I discussed what it meant to take one cup out of the series and look at it in isolation: it doesn’t even look like a cup, you are seeing it out of context, you do not know what has happened to it to produce that form.
In this way, seeing a cup in isolation is like meeting someone for the first time, be that on the street, or in a clinical setting when a doctor is trying to determine the history of a patient, or the development of a problem: you do not know what has preceded that form, or where that form will go next.
Amanda arranging and rearranging the ‘The Angel Inside’ series in her studio.
Some of the many, many moulds used to create Amanda’s series… like the cups themselves, these moulds had to deform over time, straying further and further away from the form of the “traditional” cup with every new casting.
Project leader Benjamin Dalton regroups with filmmaker Sam Plommer for day 2 of the Narrating Plasticity project film shoot
Filmmaker Sam Plommer sets up the camera at the Francis Crick Institute for our interview with neurogenesis researcher Isabelle Blomfield
Filmmaker Sam Plommer interviews neurogenesis researcher Isabelle Blomfield at the Francis Crick Institute, and we discuss arts and science collaboration and the future of neuroplasticity research
Neurogenesis researcher Isabelle Blomfield talks to us about her work on neuroplasticity, arts and science collaboration, and the future of plasticity research
Discussion becomes passionate on the set of Narrating Plasticity The Movie
Neurogenesis researcher Isabelle Blomfield gets ready for her close-up at the Francis Crick Institute
Medic and Sexual Health Educator Jennifer Dhingra talks to us about the plasticity of sex and gender identities in relation to health care
Medic and Sexual Health Educator Jennifer Dhingra talks to us about her time working for the charity Sexpression, and about how health care is coming up with new ways to communicate the plasticity of sex and gender identity
Medic and sexual health educator Jennifer Dhingra spoke about her own reactions to the Narrating Plasticity project, talking about how the ways in which we live and express sex and gender identities is more plastic than ever
Snow falls on Amanda Doidge’s ceramics workshop in Walthamstow
Project leader Benjamin Dalton with friend and colleague filmmaker Sam Plommer on the set of the Narrating Plasticity project film at the ceramicist Amanda Doidge’s workshop in Walthamstow
Project leader Benjamin Dalton and filmmaker Sam Plommer have a history of collaboration. Benjamin acted in Sam’s queer short film “Seeing Each Other” (2017), whilst Sam is shooting, directing, and editing the Narrating Plasticity project film. Sam is also the writer, director and editor of his own queer web series: Sorry Not Interested. Catch it on Youtube.
standing on Walthamstow on the kitchen floor in Walthamstow
Filmmaker Sam Plommer and ceramicist Amanda Doidge prepare to film outside in the snow
Filmmaker Sam Plommer braving the bog
Ceramicist and project collaborator Amanda Doidge talks to us about her own brand of “destructive plasticity”, and her art work “Kill or Cure”
Interviewing ceramicist and project collaborator Amanda Doidge in her art studio in Walthamstow, London.
Project leader Benjamin Dalton, ceramicist Amanda Doidge, and filmmaker Sam Plommer in Amanda’s ceramics studio in Walthamstow
Amanda Doidge talks us through her preparations for the upcoming Narrating Plasticity exhibition launch on the 2nd February, whilst drying one of her pots with a hairdryer
Filming ceramicist Amanda Doidge at work through her window: the ceramicist in situ
Storying away the finished cups for the Narrating Plasticity project exhibition!
The cups get ready for their close-up
Setting up for more interviews in front of this incredible plant collection
Filmmaker Sam Plommer readying himself for the final interviews of the Narrating Plasticity project film
Ceramicist and project collaborator Amanda Doidge talks to us about her work, plasticity, and how the project has gone
Ceramicist and project collaborator Amanda Doidge reflects back on the Narrating Plasticity project and looks forward to the upcoming exhibition and considers what the future of arts/science collaboration in plasticity research might be…
Some finished “exploding cups” ready to be stored away for the Narrating Plasticity exhibition 2-3rd February at the King’s College Anatomy Museum
Something strange this way comes – catch all of this and more at the Narrating Plasticity exhibition on 2-3rd February in the King’s College London Anatomy Museum