2 minutes

A portrait of depression through art and neuroscience using the head as a canvas

A collaboration between the UK artist Emma Allen and the neuroscientist Daisy Thompson-Lake at Queen Mary University of London, this short animation uses the surface of a man’s head as a canvas to explore both the experience and the neuroscience of depression. Through an arresting and emotive visual style that uses stop-motion to animate face-painting, the short film connects two very distinct ways of conceptualising depression: as a lived emotional experience and as a medical condition rooted in brain chemistry. The video is part of Allen and Thompson-Lake’s GreyMatters series, which endeavours to ‘remove the social stigma that accompanies mental health and educate about the role of the brain in depression’.

Director: Emma Allen

Producer: Daisy Thompson-Lake

Get Aeon straight
to your inbox
Join our newsletter Sign up
Follow us on
Social Psychology
In extremis

As Hannah Arendt argued, there is one common thread which connects individuals drawn to all kinds of extremist ideologies

Nabeelah Jaffer

Love & Friendship
Love your frenemy

Envy is the dark side of love, but love is the luminous side of envy. Is there a way to harness envy wisely, for growth?

Sara Protasi