One of the Brains team's organoids around day 20. A cerebral organoid (three dimensional brain tissue culture) photo : Charlie Murphy


Charlie Murphy 'studies for organoids' 2018 reformed and coloured scientific flasks


Charlie Murphy 'studies for organoids' 2018 coloured borosilicate glass


Charlie Murphy 'studies for organoids' 2018 reformed and coloured scientific flasks


Charlie Murphy 'untitled (migration)' 2018 coloured borosilicate glass


Charlie Murphy 'studies for organoids' 2018 reformed and coloured scientific flasks


Charlie Murphy 'untitled (migration) 2018 coloured borosilicate glass


Charlie Murphy 'cerebral section' 2018, coloured borosilicate glass


plans for creating clamp and stand scaffolds for organoid, synapse and neuron sculptures


Charlie Murphy 'in search of self' 2018, reformed soda glass, lights


sketches for large-scale / exploded organoid installations that can be explored inside and outside by a wide range of audiences


sketches for immersive sculptural light installations which respond to, reframe and explode some of the scientific, personal and ethical questions raised by human tissue cultures.


The incredible organoids : Investigating brain tissue cultures through glass, light and projection

With innovative culturing processes in supportive micro environments, scientists are now able to grow different types of three-dimensional brain tissues called cerebral organoids. These extraordinary, three dimensional tissues, (sometimes called ‘mini brains’ )offer pioneering new approaches to studying human brain development and neurological disease mechanisms in vitro_.

Through her work with Dr Wray’s lab (UCL) (and in consultations with organoid expert Dr Madeline Lancaster at Cambridge MRC), Charlie now plans to explore how 3d scanning and printing technologies might be used to inform her aims to dramatically visualise organoid structures to epic, room size proportions .

Upscaling her ideas to create large scale sculptural installations will open up and explore our relationships with and understandings of these delicate, living tissues. Working in collaboration with 2D & 3D tissue imaging specialists, skilled glass technicians, lighting and AV engineers , Charlie will develop illuminated glass ‘scaffold’ systems which will enable her to create large scale interpretations of the structural and conceptual dimensions of 2 and 3D neuronal cultures. She’ll develop dramatic, immersive environments through which audiences can tangibly explore what organoids look like close up and personal.

Each installation will be constructed to frame and consider how these potent human tissues grow and function – investigating the powerful resonances , material qualities and personal associations evoked by this powerful ‘stuff of thought’.

Framing important questions about the personal, metaphysical and ethical dimensions of human tissue development and its potential for commercial and clinical exploitation, these installations aim to offer audiences valuable and timely opportunities to, interact with, debate and gain significant insights into this important new area of biotechnology.