Forest blue (by Collin Key)
In his second year of neuroscience grad school, Greg Dunn was moonlighting with a different kind of experiment: blowing ink across pieces of paper. The neuron-like pattern it formed was instantly recognizable to him as a neuroscientist. “Ink spreads because it wants to go in the direction of less resistance, and that’s probably also the case of when branches grow or neurons grow,” he says. “The reason the technique works really well is because it’s directly related to how neurons are actually behaving.”
Dunn calls this the “fractal solution to the universe,” which he sees as the “fundamental beauty of nature.” He’s fascinated that this branching pattern holds true across orders of magnitude, whether that’s nanometers for neurons, centimeters for ink, or meters for a tree branch.
Since graduating with his PhD last fall, Dunn has continued to spend his days with neurons—big, golden ones ten thousand times the size of neurons in your brain. The former University of Pennsylvania grad student now creates paintings of neurons for a living.
Will Barnet, Woman and Cats, 1962
The Lifes of Grass sculptures show the effects of transformation of the material as a metaphor of the transformation of the body. Time sculpts the forms, makes them change and then decay. In Egyptian Mythology, Osiris is the God of renewal, the one who eternally comes back to life. He is also the personification of the fertile land and the natural cycles: death and rebirth, dryness and fertility. The natural world, ingested as food becomes a component of human being. Through these anthropomorphic and organic sculptures made of soil and wheat grass seeds, I strive to show that food, it’s origin, it’s transport, has an impact on us beyond it’s taste. The power inside it affects every organ of our body. Observing nature and being aware of what and how we eat makes us more sensitive to food cycles in the world - of abundance, of famine - and allows us to be physically, intellectually and spiritually connected to a global reality.