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Charlie Murphy 'nuclear' 2018 hand drawn glass with uranium, UV

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Charlie Murphy 'studies for neurons'2017 illuminated hand drawn glass at 'Dimensions of Dementia' event, London 2017

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Charlie Murphy 'studies for neurons', 2017 illuminated hand drawn glass at 'Dimensions of Dementia' event, London 2017

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Charlie Murphy 'molecular' 2018 coloured borosilicate glass

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ARUK's 'Reframing Dementia' exhibition Oxo Tower Gallery, London March 2018 photo: Andy Tyler

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'studies for neurons' 2017 at Lifespace Gallery, Dundee as part of Trajectories exhibition. photo : Erika Stevenson

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Audience response to sculptures at ARUK's 'Reframing Dementia' exhibition at Oxo Tower Gallery, London 2018

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Charlie Murphy' studies for neurons, 2017 hand drawn glass photo: Thomas Farnetti / Wellcome

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Charlie Murphy 'studies for neurons', 2017 hand drawn glass

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Charlie Murphy 'studies for neural networks', 2016 hand drawn borosilicate glass

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Charlie Murphy 'studies for neurons', 2016 hand drawn glass

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Charlie Murphy 'studies for neurons', 2017 hand drawn glass photo:Thomas Farnetti/Wellcome

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Charlie Murphy 'studies for neurons', 2016 hand drawn glass

Studies for Neurons

Charlie is creating a series delicate hand drawn glass sculptures which respond to the emerging cell cultures she’s observing through microscopes in Dr Selina’s Wray’s dementia research  lab at UCL’s Institute of Neurology.

Researching and learning about the cells structures and architectures (cytoarchitecture) through her making experiments and activities, she is investigating the many different ways in which cells and their functions are visualised and represented.

Examining the intricate rituals, processes and tools used to develop and nurture human tissues in 2 and three dimensional formats ,  Charlie’s ‘studies’  sketch out some of the structures, cell types and connections she is learning about as her skin sample are gradually transformed into functioning neuronal cultures.

Exploring new techniques for applying and integrating colour into the glass, this series of ‘studies for neurons’ reference the  codified colour stains used to  identify and verify different cell types and question the supposed neutrality of scientific illustration.

These images show early stage outcomes from her collaborative research project in progress with UCL’s molecular neuroscientist Dr Selina Wray and PhD researcher Chris Lovejoy. Further artworks and events are in development.