DNA identification of deceased has replaced dental identification.In 2010 dental casts were announced unfit for landfill. i collected thousands of these casts- all named and numbered from one dental lab over a 6 month period. ideally they will be used in the construction of a large summer house.
Identification removed - here you can see dr Rod Dillon helping me in the studio- spraying them white.
Wasted is a body of inter-related artworks exploring the life-giving potential of these ‘discarded’ body parts and their relationship to myths, history, cutting edge stem cell research and notions of what constitutes informed consent.
The art works are primarily sculptural incorporating milk teeth (donated by children) and bones and fat from living, consenting donors. Through the media, our website and direct contact we aim to actively interact and provoke informed debate with the donors and the general public throughout the whole process. The end products will be visually stunning and together they will take on a vast wealth of associated meanings for diverse audiences.
Palaces is constructed from clear glass-like material embedded with thousands of milk teeth, donated by the public. The structure will be 2m wide x 2m high x 0.5m deep and appears as a beautiful, precious object that only, on closer inspection, reveals the nature of its materials.
Milk teeth are lost naturally during life and have a particular significance as a symbol of transition. Stem cells can be extracted from these teeth and may in the future be used to repair damaged organs. Inside the material are filaments of dust that enhance uv lighting and bonded within the spirals are optical light strands. The beautiful structure glows and gradually fills with teeth like coral or stalegnite formations. People can touch the teeth and put their head into the inside of the structure and be momentarily engulfed.
The sculpture is supported by the online element of the project. www.palaces.org.uk This accompanying website will provide a playful, interactive and educational engagement with its themes. It functions as a portal to the Palaces work, and as a site of interpretation and further information about the project as a whole.
Blood stem cells harvested from adult bone marrow are routinely used for bone marrow transplants to treat patients with Leukemia. In recent years other distinct populations of stem cells have been identified in bone marrow that can be turned into bone, cartilage and blood vessels and have been shown to promote wound healing. These stem cells may be used in the future to treat patients, for example, with arthritis or heart disease.
Trophies of Empire comprises two objects resembling a stalagmite and a stalactite, each 2m in length contained within a large clear perspex cylinder. One is made of growing salt crystals, the other of sugar, solidified like amber. Contained within both are clusters of engraved femural heads. Sugar and salt are both used as preservatives and corrosives. Over the three-month exhibition, the salt grows and the sugar dissolves. This piece has deep local significance in Liverpool, not only in the use of body parts and issues relating to permissions but also links with the history of the local international trade route to the Carribean and Africa with sugar (Tate) and the Cheshire salt mines. Trophies has also been developed specifically in reation to the history of the Bluecoat and is co-commissioned by them.
Adult stem cells can be extracted from adipose tissue (fat) and can be turned into bone and heart cells scientists are currently investigating using these cells for example in the formation of artificial heart valves. Adipose tissue is readily available and, unlike bone marrow, can be extracted in large quantities painlessly, it is thought therefore, that in the future this may provide a valuable source of stem cells for tissue engineering.
Canope is a art deco day bed upholstered in 'hard rubber' (generally used for sex clothes) in shiny bright cobalt blue. It is filled with wax made from processed human fat extracted from liposuction procedures. This is a soft wax and with the transference of body heat when you sit on it, softens further. The wax becomes semi-liquid and warm,moulding to the shape of your body. The piece provokes questions about what is medical or cosmetic, both vanity and obesity being 'diseases' of affluence. The sofa is designed as gallery seating, suitable for all ages. It is an object to be used, not just looked at. Potentially the names of the donors, the date and the procedure are branded onto the material.
Early designs and research into approaches to the structural engineering of Palaces developed by BREAD. These suggestions explore a modular framework that grows to look like stalagmites.
A film from the research and development for a series of works entitled 'Wasted'. This film is made for the BBC Big Screens and was made as part of DadaFest 09.
Pixie Dust explores the notion of limb regeneration for humans within the contexts of science, sport, disability and super-ability.
The title Pixie Dust comes from the substance taken from the pigs gut matrix that is applied to wounds to prevent scarrification and therefore allow continual growth of the tissue – as used in finger regeneration (allegedly) it plays the nonreality and disney-fication of scientific research.
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) resident in bone marrow are one of the most studied and clinically important populations of adult stem cells. Cells with, similar properties to these MSCs have been described in several different tooth tissues and the potential ease with which these dental MSCs could be obtained from patients has prompted great interest in these cells as a source of MSCs for cell-based therapeutics. In this review we address the current state of knowledge regarding these cells, their properties, origins, locations, functions and potential uses in tooth tissue engineering and repair. We discuss some of the key controversies and outstanding issues, not least of which whether dental stem cells actually exist.