Okko Alitalo:

Laser etching filled with the ‘world’s blackest visible light absorbing synthetic resin’ and framed in Finnish pine wood.

“Even centuries-old samples preserved on cover-slipped microscope slides remain indistinguishable from recent ones as if they were frozen in time. Akin to these slides, the dark neurones of “Synaptogenesis” are trapped under a transparent shield that interacts with the optical properties of the content underneath. This mandala is a meditation on the birth and death of neuroscience, its relationship with art, and the pursuit to find my place in this equation. The neurones, inspired by the work of Santiago Ramón y Cajal, represent the brain structures I’ve researched during my brief time in neuroscience. Ramón y Cajal (1852–1934), the father of modern neuroscience, initially aspired to be an artist but was pressured by his parents to pursue a career in medicine. His Nobel-prize winning research blurred the lines of art and science, as he revolutionised the understanding of how the brain is organised through his intricate illustrations of neurones under a microscope.
Synaptogenesis was created in memory of the late Ronald S. Duman (1954–2020), one of the most influential contemporary neuroscientists studying ketamine. I was honoured to present Ron my exhibition shortly before his passing when he visited our lab”.

Price: 4000 EUR (2000 EUR for the artist, 2000 EUR for the faculty’s sustainable pharmacy fund).

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