Thursday, 10 December 2009

Recent research into the Migraine aura and the mechanisms of visual hallucinations and its manifestations and representations in 20th Century Art:

My current ideas are concerned with investigations into the migraine aura. It has until now been through its re-presentations through the use of digital imaging software and photography, without real reference to or an acknowledgement of a 'condition of seeing'. In recognising the migraine aura as a source of artistic inspiration I have begun to explore the possible links between the migraine experience and visual hallucinations that accompany them and 20th century European art. I wish to address the similarities between the recorded descriptions of the migraine aura and the hallucinatory nature of Artaud’s verbal and Max Ernst’s non-verbal representations. Is it possible that the recurrent features in such work are based on this neurological disorder?

My research has explored digital imagery in print and film. It has including exploring the possibilities of art on the Internet, which culminated in the production of a digital film "Of Art and Migraines" for the BBC Telling Lives project (not a great “film” by a long chalk.). The content or main inspiration on my work brought my art to the attention of Dr Klaus Podoll of the Department of Psychology and Psychotherapy, University of Technology (RWTH) Aachen, Germany. We exchanged theories about the influence of migraine auras on 20th Century Art and its source for artistic inspiration in contemporary art and he soon put me straight. The digital works I produce are an investigation into the relationship between my migraines and my practice as an artist. The digital images explore the nature of the migraine auras or hallucinations. My research has included writing about my work and its relationship with the auras and contains discussions about other artists who have possibly been inspired by the migraines optical effects and suffered similar conditions.

Dr Klaus Podoll kindly produced an article on the subject of visual migraine and my digital images. It my contribution to a website specifically devoted to the subject of "Migraine Art". You can visit The Migraine Aura Foundation website here : and

No comments:

Post a Comment