Fat drawing

‘Fat drawing’ was shown as part of the Wellcome Trust ‘Brains: The Mind as Matter’ exhibition (2013), at The Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester. The image is based upon a cross section of the brain, it is life size and drawn with goose fat. We tend to think of the brain in abstract terms, but it is also an object, an organ which is made up largely of fat and water. The drawing is translucent, and ideas about the transparent body, or seeing the unseen, have a long history in western medicine.

Fat is an unstable medium to work with, it spreads and seeps across the paper. I have used transparent barriers to slow down this process, but the fat will cross the barrier over time. It is therefore a fugitive drawing, one which will change over time. Our brains are constantly changing, our minds are rarely still. I wanted the image to reflect this experience of our minds and our consciousness, which is in constant flux.