This blog post was originally published on Lifeology on 7/16/20.
For the past few months, I have been dabbling in small projects here and there, but have kind of put an unintentional hold on my real SciArt. Of course, I created the sculpture for “The Brain Project” for a summer exhibition in Toronto. But otherwise I have been trying to look for new ideas. Mainly, I am looking for a new theme. I would like it to be consistent with my previous series, but also resonate with the current COVID-19 crisis.
My original series “Stages of Grief” contained works that correspond to the framework of the 5 phases: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. I created the “Hope” sculpture to represent “bargaining” and after completing the original series, decided to expand on this topic.
I fell in love with the idea of using a white jewel to represent hope across several works and used it as symbol of optimism in the “Hope” series. I even pondered incorporating this crystal in all of my works going forward.
I am not completely sure if this series is finished or if it could use a couple more pieces, but I am now considering embarking on a new adventure and creating a new body of work centered around “acceptance”, or as I like to think of it – adaptation.
Acceptance and Adaptation
While acceptance does not in any way normalize the trauma that we have been through, it is a time when we decide that we can start moving on with the new reality. It allows us to start making a new plan on how to move forward in the face of the current circumstances and begin taking care of our mental health.
As I have written before, the nervous system can show amazing resilience at both cellular and psychological levels. Our nerve cells are able to adapt to new circumstances and change their own behavior in accordance with the new reality.
Previously, I have touched upon this topic in “Guidance” and “Transformation”. In “Guidance”, a distal tip of a nerve cell called a growth cone is looking for its target. It scans the area for attractive and repulsive signals and then decides where to turn. The frames show (from left to right) how it grows, looks around and finally turns. And in “Transformation”, a neuronal cell extends its tentacle-like processes called dendrites in different directions and allows them to change in accordance with the environment.
In this new series, I would like to delve deeper into this amazing phenomenon of plasticity and adaptation. Some processes I would like to examine are guidance and target identification, cell migration, differentiation and regeneration. All of these processes require the cells to change and take on a new identity, without changing their genetic makeup. I bet we could learn something from these tiny structures, that compose our wonderfully complex brain, that could help us deal with change too.
Here are a couple shots of a new Pinterest board where I am gathering ideas for this series. I would love to hear which images you would like me to explore first.
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