Rebecca Ivatts

Neuroplasticity-Crucifixion Diptych

Rebecca Ivatts - Neuroplasticity-Crucifixion Diptych

Neuroplasticity-Crucifixion Diptych (2018-19)

Mixed media and wool on board

The left panel refers to the regenerative power of repeated rehabilitation exercises and an insistence on working limbs and hands/feet affected by stroke. It shows a dynamic network of pyramidal neurons present in the cortex (the 6 layers of which are depicted in shades of grey). The adage goes: neurons that fire together, wire together and the more we repeat an action, the stronger the connections between cells and the more 'dentritic spines' develop on cells maximising connectivity. This right panel is inspired by Nikon microsope images of neurons: a dead cortical neuron in a rat (the Christ figure); and a network of healthy 6-day neurons (Baroque dancing figures below the cross) cultivated in vitro by Ricky Patel, King’s College London.