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

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