26 July - 17 August 2008
Fri-Sun, noon-6pm
Private View: Fri 25 July 6-9pm

'The harder one stares into the machinery of the brain, the starker the realization that there is no one in there. There is no inner sanctum of the self. Neural networks have a life and logic of their own. There is no one running the show. The self is a shadow-puppet shaped by the firings of a hundred billion brain cells. These are conceptual conundrums, intractable to current science, they call for an artistic response.'
Paul Broks from his catalogue essay for Scribing the Soul

Susan Aldworth's art explores the nature of consciousness. In 1999, the experience of observing her brain live on a monitor during a diagnostic brain scan triggered an ongoing fascination with the relationship between the physical brain and the sense of self. Since then Aldworth has worked and collaborated with doctors, neuroscientists, artists and musicians in pursuit of this elusive subject. Deriving inspiration from looking directly into the brain she has observed numerous scans in hospitals and undergone research brain scans herself to try to make sense of the material basis of personality.

In parallel with these investigations she has experimented with etching techniques and developed a radical method whose chemical processes are analogous to those in the brain that might be responsible for personality. Aldworth also works with animated film, digital print and light installation. The exhibition Scribing the Soul is the result of her tracking consciousness over the past seven years.



Susan Aldworth is Research Fellow in Print at London Metropolitan University and artist in residence at the Gordon Museum of Pathology at KCL working on a Welcome Trust funded project. Recent exhibitions include Mapping the Imagination at the V&A, London (2008) with solo exhibitions at Customs House Gallery, Newcastle (2008) and Menier Gallery, London (2006). In 2007 she was invited to exhibit at the Cuenca Biennial in Ecuador.

There is an accompanying Scribing the Soul publication. Click here for more details


Scribing the Soul Talks

Sun 27 July 3pm - Seeing the Mind: do art and science meet?
Dr Caterina Albano
, Research Fellow/Curator, Artakt, Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design

Thurs 7 August 7pm - States of Mind: an artist's exploration of the brain and consciousness through drawing and etching.
Gill Saunders
, Senior Curator (Print) Word and Imaging Department at the V&A in conversation with Susan Aldworth.

Talks take place at Transition, they are free, no booking is necessary



Press Links

Radio 4 - Woman's Hour
Time Out
London: 31 July-6 Aug (pdf version)
Studio International