Newsletter #1



Hello and welcome to my first newsletter!

It’s been an incredibly busy few months making a new body of work for my exhibition Everyone In This Room Is Connected To Everyone In This Room currently on show at the wonderfully eccentric Whitaker Museum and Art Gallery, Rawtenstall. There’s lots of time to visit the show which is on until the 7th May 2023 and there are a couple of events happening this coming week where I’ll have the chance to talk about the work and some of the influences and wonderful supporting research that have influenced the exhibition. I’m so excited to be showing at The Whitaker and hope you can visit soon – the museum is open Wednesday to Sunday 10am – 4pm, Late night Thursday 8pm. Travel information for The Whitaker can be found HERE

It would be lovely to see you at my artists talk, taking place this Thursday evening, 9th March in gallery 2 where I will be taking you on a guided tour of the exhibition to give you an in-depth insight into the exhibition. This informal, informative talk will uncover and illuminate the thought processes and research that have informed this large and diverse body of work and will include a generous scattering of the kind of personal anecdotes that don’t make it into an artist’s statement or exhibition blurb – I really look forward to meeting you and answering your questions as we traverse the strange landscape of my brain garden. The event can be booked online HERE

The Festival of The Brain 11th March 2023. Way back in, I think around May 2022 I contacted Matthew Cobb whose brilliant book The Idea of the Brain had been a major source of inspiration during the early development of the work. I’d thought that I could maybe persuade him to do a one off talk to accompany the exhibition and was super pleased when he agreed to a zoom conversation. By the end of that zoom conversation the idea of a Festival of the Brain had taken shape and it’s with great thanks to Matthew that The Festival of The Brain is now a reality. This day long festival will include an eclectic mix of world renowned artists and scientists all of whom have an interest in how we perceive and value biological and artificial notions of the brain. I’m so grateful to everyone who has agreed to speak on Saturday and do hope you can join us for what promises to be an informative and enlightening day. For further details of the days schedule and speakers see below.
The festival will be held at The Whitaker and will start at 11am and finish at 4pm, booking is essential. More details and booking information. HERE

That’s all for now, hope to meet you at one of the events,



Morning session

11am Matthew Cobb
Matthew Cobb is Professor of Zoology at the University of Manchester where he studies the sense of smell in maggots and Neanderthals. He is also an author of popular science books, including “The Idea of the Brain” (2020).
I will look at the fundamental question of why are we interested in the brain. In particular, I will show how we came to focus on this lump of apparently inert squishy stuff in our heads, and how our ideas about what the brain does have changed over time, with technology driving our interpretations. Yesterday, we thought the brain was like a telephone exchange, now we think it is like a computer, and tomorrow?


11.30 Libby Heaney
Title: From binary to non-binary: quantum computing and art
Overview: Imagine programming a slimeball. Taking a gooey, entangled, shapeshifting reality and massaging it in precisely the right way to solve problems that could never be solved on even the largest binary, digital computer.
This is quantum computing – a powerful new type of computer – that is being intensely pursued by big tech companies and governments around the globe. Yet hardly anyone is discussing the forthcoming quantum revolution. In this talk, I’ll use my slimy quantum art practice to unpack quantum computing. I will lift the lid on how big tech companies plan to use these tools and the radical potential of quantum computing in the arts.


12pm Jonathan McGrath (Future Everything)
Jonathan McGrath will explore the relationship between the brain, AI & art through examples of FutureEverything projects, in doing so he will unpack the dialogue that FutureEverything cultivates between the arts, technology, science and academic sectors and how by bringing these at times disparate groups together collaboration, play and learning can happen.

Jonathan will discuss how foregrounding a ‘process over product’ ethos creates opportunities for discovery, beneficial failures and measurable growth that ultimately leads to richer artistic experiences for FutureEverything audiences and points of learning for our contributing clients.


12.30 Q&A

12.45pm LUNCH & chance to see exhibition

Afternoon Session

1.30 pm Amanda Sutton (Venture Arts)
Venture Arts is an award-winning visual arts charity based in Hulme, Manchester.
Our vision is a world in which people with learning disabilities are empowered, celebrated, included and valued in the arts, culture and society.
Our mission is to shape a new cultural landscape where people with learning disabilities reach their potential as artists, curators, critics, audiences, participants and advocates.


2pm Karen Lander
Dr Karen Lander is an experimental cognitive psychologist. Her research has focused on face perception and recognition. She is also interested in why some people are better at recognising faces than others and the application of her work to criminal identification and computer animation of faces.

Her talk provides an overview of what we know about face perception and recognition addressing such questions as – why face recognition is important? what happens when face recognition goes wrong? how do we store information about faces in memory? and what makes a face attractive? We will look at face ‘illusions’ and see how well you can recognise faces.


2.30pm Rachel Mason
Synaesthesia- the joining together of sensations that are normally experienced separately (University of Sussex, 2018). At least 4% of the population have a form of synaesthesia, but little of the condition is discussed within society day to day and many are still unaware of its existence.
How I See It is a collaborative art project between myself and Anita, who has synaesthesia. Her synaesthesia manifests as every single word having a correlating internal image, some photographic and some 3D forms. Most are not a direct link to the word itself, with some words (mainly people’s names) producing a more prominent image, which is easier to articulate than others. This is a process based project learning about synaesthesia, articulation and representation through dialogue and photographic exchange.


3pm Jo Clements

Jo Clements will be talking about her exhibition at The Whitaker, Everyone in This Room Is Connected to Everyone In This Room and how the exhibition explores her personal anxieties around the pursuit of knowledge and how we are defined by the knowledge we accrue. She will outline how her extensive research into representations of the brain, the psychology of learning, digital and biological neural connectedness, machine learning and feminist analysis of gender and class bias in education have affected her thinking around the construction of her sprawling, visceral ‘Brain Garden’.

3.30pm Q&A session

3.45pm Festival Closing Remarks

4pm close