Date of Award
Bachelor of Science
Neuroscience and Studio Arts
My goal as an artist is to create paintings which explore the intersections of biology, philosophy, aesthetics, and personal experience. I want to challenge the viewer to engage with their own anatomy and physiology on a microscopic scale. I also aspire to communicate my sense of awe and wonder at the structures and mechanisms of life on every scale, from the cellular to the cosmic.
I am deeply interested in how physiological processes generate the human experience
—I became a neuroscience major because I was interested in the mechanisms of sensation and perception. My love of histology—the study of the microscopic structure of biological tissues—started during a teaching assistantship I had in high school, where in between defrosting fetal pigs and washing glassware in the anatomy and physiology lab, I got to sit at the microscope in the back of the classroom and look through the boxes and boxes of slides. I was captured by the beauty of the forms of line and color, the organic patterns in these images, and was also amazed to literally see the physical mechanisms which make life possible.
In my paintings, I depict these microscopic biological forms as symbols and narratives,
as well as pure aesthetic expressions. I relate my own experiences and opinions of sensations such as touch to the colors and gestures which comprise the anatomical structures, which themselves are intrinsically related to my corporeal experience. For a long while now, I have sought an understanding of anatomy and physiology as a means of relating my experience to my body, especially within the contexts of physical and mental illness. I am curious how these intersecting systems of physiology and experience can generate spiritual and epistemic insights, and hope to find a greater sense of meaning and compassion for myself and the world around me.
Smith, Meg, "Under the Microscope: Painting from Histology". Senior Theses, Trinity College, Hartford, CT 2021.
Trinity College Digital Repository, https://digitalrepository.trincoll.edu/theses/927