Ruth Angus is a researcher at QMUL, studying traumatic brain injury and is working with Paz, a graphic designer, and Henry a designer interested in light installation…
Ruth spends a lot of her time imaging a cell type in the brain called astroglia, “Despite having spent three years imaging these cells I still love looking at them down the microscope, as they create such beautiful and complex star-like shapes. In fact, the main cell type in this population is called astroglia, with the ‘astro’ coming from Greek astron, meaning star.”
Ruth researchers how these cells respond to brain injury – something that Paz and Henry picked up on in their installation, “the piece shows how cells are duplicated in traumatic bran injury as well as how the trauma increases size over the time. On the acrylic sectioned brain, the blue dots represent neurons and red dots represent astrocytes.”
Paz and Henry describe their initial reaction to Ruth’s work “The fascinating textures and pastel colours from her scans were so stunning that it was hard to believe that it was a brain. They looked more like a part of the moon or something from another planet. These visuals were really bought to life after visiting Ruth in the lab and seeing her working in a dark room under the microscope. Enthralling mini galaxies made up of coloured lights dancing down the microscope which such precision and detail.” This use of coloured light in Ruth’s work became the inspiration for the art piece Paz and Henry have produced for Art Neuro. See their work in action here.
Supatra Marsh, Art Neuro Curator