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Alison Cooper

Alison Cooper works with ink, soap and acrylic paint to create neural networks which represent the creation and eventual destruction of our networks in our brain. Her pieces result in a layered pattern of abstract shapes and forms contrasted with detailed paintings of individual neurones as well as a subtle layer of bleach to represent the degraded network. The viewer has to look carefully in-order to see each detail and follow a discrete patterned of the networks. The work has a fluidity to it as the networks created move across the page figuratively. The use of colour is relevant to each stage of the destruction of the network as the artiste used similar hues to suggest continuity as well as adding a brighter contrast to represent the birth of a new network and the beginning of a change in dynamic.

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I wanted to create a narrative through the use of colour and materials of how our networks degrade. The use of negative space is important in my practice as it represents the absence of a network. I also experiemted with the idea of a three dimesional network by using materials which would create an absract structure of a network.

My practice involves a technique in which reminds people of their childhoods, I use soap, water and ink in a cup and mix them together and blow. This reuslts in a print or a series of prints of the bubbles that were in the cup. I use this method to layer up the colours, textures and shape of them. On top of this I drew a silhouette of a neurone and as the bleach travels over the ink it degrades it leaving a subtle outline of a neurone. 

A selection of my work.

An example of a 3D netork in the brian using glue and thread.

A example of my work which depicts a network begining to form a the piece itself has a chaotic nature.

A chaotic network contrasted with the subtle bleach work

A subtle example of bleach over ink.

Acrylic paint used to create an abstract neruone over bubble print.

A smaller network forming over a simpler canvas.

In the emerging field of “neuroaesthetics,” the goal is not to vivisect the arts, but to observe what art—however defined—does to the brain. As the more we understand the way the brain responds to the arts, the better we can understand ourselves. My practice is influcned by this notion of how we can understand ourselves through our internal neural networks.

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