Power of body and mind by Olivia Turner and Pavandeep Rai

A sculpture depicting an MRI scan of a female pelvis

Power of body and mind is a visionary collaboration between art and science which takes inspiration from Cragside’s pioneering spirit and the cutting-edge mitochondrial disease research conducted at Newcastle University. The work explores the relationship between Cragside, built to harness the power of nature, and mitochondria, the natural power-producing elements of the human body

Presented as a series of sculptural installations throughout the grounds, Power of body and mind (selected dates in August) draws inspiration from some of Cragside’s most significant features, re-imagining these elements as parts of the ideal body of which Cragside is formed, that may be subject to the kinds of multi-system breakdown associated with mitochondrial disease.
Each sculpture offers an alternative way of viewing, drawing on computed tomography (CT) imaging as a way in which medical science uses this technique to visually navigate the body. Viewers are invited to look through the sculptures, and in doing so, contemplate the grounds from the perspective of alternative relationships between structure and energy production that occurs naturally in every cell of the living world.

The work is the result of Olivia’s creative visioning and Pavandeep’s scientific research, as part of the leading team in mitochondrial research in the North East. This work has been generously funded by EngageFMS, part of the Faculty of Medical Sciences, Newcastle University.

About the innovators

Pavandeep Kaur Rai is a research associate at the Wellcome Centre for Mitochondrial Research (WCMR). Her work focuses on the discovery, development and assessment of therapeutics for the treatment of mitochondrial disease. She is currently funded by the Wellcome Trust and Reneo Pharmaceuticals.

Olivia Turner is an interdisciplinary artist. She is currently undertaking a practice-led PhD at Newcastle University, recipient of the Research Excellence Academy Studentship. She is artist in residence at the Wellcome Centre for Mitochondrial Research.

Olivia Turner (left) and Pavandeep Rai (right)
Olivia Turner and Pavandeep Rai working together in a lab
Olivia Turner (left) and Pavandeep Rai (right)