My friend Desi Liversage and I worked together on a piece for the University of Otago/Otago Polytech collaborative exhibition 'Art and Neuroscience'.  Our work was inspired by scientist Justine Fuller.
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.'
Working on the frame of rat bones within which Desi's 'Jesus Rat' will sit...

Close-up of central motif.  Dem bones just soooo beautiful!

Jaw bone corner feature....
Sucrose take 1

Rattie residing in state at
 front of Med school building.
Julia Davies
1/8/2013 03:53:04 pm

Holy macaroni! That is stunning - Julia

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24/1/2024 03:56:55 pm

The description you provided seems to describe a collaborative art project inspired by the work of scientist Justine Fuller, focusing on the dopamine pleasure pathway project and its use of lab animals. The artists, Desi Liversage and a friend, express initial wariness about animal experimentation due to their love for animals but acknowledge the importance of such research, given their own experiences with life-threatening illnesses.

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29/1/2024 12:28:21 pm


Desi's description of your collaborative piece for the 'Art and Neuroscience' exhibition is incredibly moving and thought-provoking.

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