Dillwyn Smith was Artist in Residence at the Queen Square Brain Bank (QSBB) (UCL) in 2013, creating a new body of work entitled ‘Silvering the Cerebrum’ through observational drawing at QSBB and drawing from memory in his studio.

An exhibition showcased Smith’s initial research and art work generated from the residency.  The work used contemporary methods in inks and dyes informed by the histopathology process. These works have been realised through juxtaposing analogue printing techniques, with state-of-the-art modern methods in printing to create some truly unique artworks. 

Featuring silver point etchings, carborundum prints, large scale digital wall and silver-gilt artworks, the exhibition provided an insight into the aesthetics of science and human anatomy.  The scientists and researchers at QSBB believe Smith’s aesthetic sensibility and studies of dyeing techniques will provide alternative ways of thinking about the pathology of the brain, and highlight the important work of and continued need for brain banks.

The interrelationship of science and art is not a new one, Smith has been influenced by the artist William Morris, for example, whose workshop and home was 26 Queen Square (1865 –1881 is now the site of The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery) and who experimented and used aniline dyes when making his work.  Histopathology involves the sectioning and staining of tissue so that cells can be examined under a microscope. The discovery of aniline dyes (stains) and their application within the scientific and artistic worlds over 100 years ago have led to the development of techniques in histological diagnosis of neurodegenerative disease and continue to be used today in everyday pathological practice. Smith draws on this scientific heritage, and the work or Morris to create an ambitious installation of colour, textures and experimental printing processes within UCH’s Street Gallery.

Silvering the Cerebrum is a project commissioned by UCLH Arts and Heritage and UCL Queen’s Square Brain Bank. https://www.factum-arte.com/pag/720/silvering-the-cerebrum