Desi writes of our piece:
'Having chosen the dopamine pleasure pathway project, we met with Justine to discuss her work. What struck us the most was the respect Justine has for the lab animals she works with.
Initially we were wary about the use of an animal in the experiment as we are both animal lovers who struggle with animal experimentation. However, we have both had life threatening illnesses, which we may not have survived without past animal research and acknowledge that it would be hypocritical of us to decry all experimentation. This work is our way of paying our debt of gratitude.
We decided to create a 'memento mori' reliquary to our rat, acknowledging Justine's research by taking our colour scheme from the graphs of her research and beading dopamine and sucrose molecules.
The rat made of silk and Mickey Mouse paisley, the spine evolving from spine to beaded dopamine molecules, stands in state on an ornate silk brocade cushion, surrounded by a frame of glass beads, delicate bones and gold thread. Crystal beaded sugar cubes are enclosed as a reward. It was a rare privilege to work with the delicate, beautiful bones.'