Elizabeth Fraser — artist printmaker & designer
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Installation exploring Multiple Sclerosis

Spring sees the city of Cambridge buzzing with the Cambridge University Science Festival. I was delighted to be invited to be part of the ‘What A Nerve!’ event presenting current research by Professor Robin Franklin into Multiple Sclerosis at the Cambridge MRC Stem Cell Institute. Following a visit to the lab and discussions with researchers I began to think about neutrons and their function as carriers of messages. I take a playful approach and multimedia inquiry into the patterns, outcomes and potential new stem cell based therapies of MS. I used a typewriter as a metaphor for the brain sending out its many messages along nerve cells. My work explores cutting edge stem cell research through the medium of not so cutting edge old school analogue printing technologies. Messages and informationare is presented on long axon like rolls of paper with each voice represented by a different process. The rolls curl out of the typewriter and flow freeform along a surface inviting the views to take a closer look while from a distance combining into a coherent whole.

  • Roll 1: Calligraphy transcript of interview with MS-warrior friend

  • Roll 2: Experimental typewriter interpretation of MS symptom diary

  • Roll3: Lino print myelin sheath with letterpress ornamental pattern nerve showing degradation of both along the length of the roll

  • Roll4: Letterpress ornament exploration playing with imagined patterns of possible myelin wrapping structure, inspired by work or Dr Myfanwy Hill

  • Roll 5: Digital print with highlighted sections of Professor Robin Franklins research into new MS therapies

  • Roll 6: Linoprint of Bexarotene agonist molecule on letterpress background of RXRg retinoid acid receptor gene instructions for protein building