The Beyond Seizures exhibition showcases a variety of artworks produced through a tripartite collaboration between people with epilepsy, neuroscientists and artists during LBP’s Seizure workshop. The artwork in this collection embodies conversations about the individual experience of epilepsy; living with it, studying it, and learning about it. Beyond Seizures aims to extend this dialogue to a wider audience, achieving a greater depth of understanding of what it is like to live with a neurological disorder. The works also provide insight into the science behind epilepsy. Crucially, the works help to deconstruct the notion that epilepsy is defined by seizures alone. This collection spans fine art, sound, film and social sculpture.
17 metre x 1 metre, 72 silkscreen printed panels on card, vinyl, wooden molding and seizure data provided by the Timewell's.
Steven Timewell has had epilepsy for over 20 years. His wife, Gail, carefully records his seizures; when they happen, where they happen, how intense they are, and why they might happen (he was tired? stressed? travelling?). This eye-opening installation provides a powerful overview of what it is like to live with epilepsy; at once both shocking and intimate. The information recorded by Gail follows 72 seizures varying in intensity throughout 1991-2013. A key denotes the time of day, the season, the intensity and the geographic location of where the seizures took place.
With thanks to funding from the UCL Public Engagement Unit.
Wire and Photography
This series of wire sculptures communicates the complexity of epilepsy, and represents the feeling that “one cannot escape their own brain”. Wire and light were chosen as a means of communicating epilepsy because of their relationship to the condition; wire represents connections in the brains (axons), along which sparks of electricity travel during a seizure. Using a method of photography known as ‘painting with light’, the wire sculptures are represented in a way that captures a sense of movement and fluidity; like a seizure flashing throughout the brain.
Lino, paint, paper
These prints were produced from a group discussion about what epilepsy means to the individual who encounters it; whether they be a person with epilepsy, a doctor or scientist, or an outside viewer. The main theme that arose from these conversations was the effect that epilepsy has on different networks, touching not only on neuronal networks in the brain but also personal and professional networks. This series also represents the individual’s response to living with epilepsy; the importance of family (‘Isobel’), and the reaction of friends and colleagues when epilepsy is first diagnosed.
[Artist: Chase Lynn, Musicians: Andrew Tuersley, Hee Chang Yang and L.S.E, Scientists: Samantha Chan and Cleo Chevalier-Riffard]
Electroencephalography (EEG) records the amplitude and frequency of brain waves. This brain imaging technique is vital; it is used to diagnose epilepsy, as well as to gain further information about the type, frequency and source of seizures. Using signals from EEG data that have been filtered and transposed to audible levels, these sonifications have been taken from 3 different time points during a nocturnal seizure. The sonified data is a representation of what the brain activity might sound like if we were able to hear it in real time. After sonification, musicians interpreted each time point. Listen to hear the chaotic nature of different seizures.
Capturing insightful and touching moments, Beyond Seizures is an 8 minute short film that documents the happenings of a workshop in which artists, neuroscientists and people with epilepsy came together to create beautiful pieces of art.
Some people with epilepsy undergo surgery to remove the part of the brain that causes seizures. This painting is one young man’s interpretation of his own brain scan, taken after he underwent a surgical procedure known as hemispherectomy (removal of one side of the brain) to control his seizures. Jo is now enrolled on an Art Foundation course.
MDF, paint, vinyl, wood
This interactive piece documents a small community of strangers having a conversation about their relationship to Epilepsy. The game like structure allowed each individual to be the centre of the conversation at a given point. It slowed the conversation down, allowing each person to listen to one another; to really hear each other. A trust was built around the game and tales both humorous and tragic were exchanged, allowing for laughter and heartfelt moments. The work documents information shared (coded by patterns on the boarder), each individual’s involvement in the discourse (reflected by peg colour), and their relationship to epilepsy (shown by peg size; the more direct the experience, the larger the peg). In doing so, this piece provides a visualisation of personal interaction and scientific data, interpretable only through colour and topology. Points of discourse therefore challenges viewers to question the distinction often drawn between art and science, and to see the crossover of data and scientific information as a visual field, a colour wave, a kinetic.
Collage, ink, pencil, paint
In order for scientists to understand epilepsy and the processes involved in epilepsy, it is important that brain structure and function are documented using brain imaging techniques. These include structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to look at brain size and shape, functional MRI scans to map crucial parts of the brain (i.e. areas supporting language or movement), and recording electrical activity using Electroencephalography (EEG) to discover more about the epilepsy. In this collection of mixed media pieces, scientific images showing what causes epilepsy and what physically happens to the brain during a seizure have been altered, to convey how epilepsy is understood and felt from a personal perspective. Through collage, drawing, painting, writing and stenciling, an alternative MRI grid showing a different visual understanding of epilepsy has been created.
This collection was produced by: Piers Bailey, Torsten Baldeweg, Melissa Blake, Dan Bradshaw, Imogen Cauthery, Rosie Coleman, Kevan Collins, Louise Croft, Rachel Daniel, Michelle Downes, Angela Farragher, Nacera Guerin, Alex Hirst, David Jane, Matthias Koepp, Chase Lynn, Jo Micallef, Daisy Packham, Barry Packham, Jacqueline Packham, Georgia Pitts, Joseph Shaw, Margaret Shaw, Stephen Timewell, Gail Timewell, Julia Vogl, Matthew Walker.