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Off the Shelf
17-27 September 2020

Brain Orchard

  • Health

The project

Fresh from an 8 -week residency in Fremantle, Australia, artist Kate Sully returned to Sheffield with an exhibition exploring the latest research into Alzheimer’s Disease (AD).

Using digitally printed images of the brain, these vibrant, large-scale artworks provided a creative response to the work of scientists at the Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience (SiTraN).

Kate worked closely with Dr Simon Bell, Dr Daniel Blackburn and PhD student Manmohi Dake. Their research looks at AD from the celluar level to discover how brain cells interact, how brain waves are changed, and how a person’s health can affect their brain structure.


This artwork explores brain patterns through abstract form when the brain is functioning in a healthy and positive state so there is a fluidity and rhythm to the work.


This piece uses the research of Dr Simon Bell and the role of the astrocyte cell in supporting neurons in brain function. My work uses images of the astrocytes alongside brain imagery using an abstract visual language to describe these patterns and relationships.


This artwork explores the research of PhD student Mo Dake as she studies the links between a healthy lifestyle and brain function and in particular the effect of diabetes and heart disease on brain health. I wanted to express those ideas and suggest the brain is distorted and failing through my work by collaging together particular shapes and painting into them.


This piece has been created through collaborating with the research of Dr Dan Blackburn who uses studies into brain signals to measure its function in patients with Alzheimer’s Disease in both open and closed eye states.

I wanted to suggest the idea of those states through my choice of imagery and that maybe finding another state of consciousness through creativity the brain could make new connections.

Equilibrium Detail

Astrocyte Detail

The podcast

The team

  • To read more on Dame Professor Pamela Shaw’s work, visit
  • To read more on Dr Simon Bell’s work, visit
  • To read more on Dr Dan Blackburn’s work, visit
  • Follow Manmohi Dake PhD student in Neuroscience follow on Twitter @manmohidake

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