The Glittering Centrepiece of the Whole Fucking World

The Glittering Centrepiece of the Whole Fucking World (2023) velvet, copper, expanding foam, scaffolding. 160cm x 100cm

Photo Credit @JulesLister

This work is constructed from meticulously and laboriously hand sewn velvet representations of the human brain to create a tangled, visceral, cacophony that represents a science fiction inspired ‘Brain Garden’. The work is inspired by my ongoing interest into visualisations of the brain, how we value knowledge, both human and otherwise, and specifically in this work, the reclamation of land via plant intelligences that science is only just beginning to understand. Heavily influenced by fantastical science fiction narratives that imagine a world far removed from our present reality I want this work to provoke visceral responses, to be something beautiful but also disconcerting and otherworldly.
The velvet brains are on copper stems which is a direct reference to plants known as hyperaccumulators (a hyperaccumulator is a plant capable of growing in soil or water with very high concentrations of metals, absorbing these metals through their roots, and concentrating extremely high levels of metals in their tissues). The work imagines a future garden where human bodies are no longer needed by hyperaccumulating brains that suck knowledge from the rock they grow from thereby becoming knowledge rich but without the means to function in any way other than to communicate with each other through their underground neural networks. Beautiful and clever but also functionally useless.