In recent research neuroscientists are looking at grid cells in the brain. These cells occur in hexagonal arrays in the Hippocampus and Entorhinal Cortex region. They fire in patterns that delineate maps of the space we occupy at any given time. In doing this they enable our navigation within proximal space. The grids pictured here are attempts to imagine a sculpture that is an analog for the physical formatting of those cells. It occurred to me that a hexagonally arrayed grid of LEDs might therefore correspond to a group of neurons and I made this artwork as a way to investigate this idea. In doing so I made a device that is an interface for data and can be programmed to display most anything at 35 pixels per foot. This artwork uses anachronistic methods like vacuum-forming to present digital microprocessing in a way that is slowed down.

In my art practice I am the gauge for all of the information I receive just as every human is an interface with the world through their senses. In my work I want to stress the individual nature of instantiation and the idea that the resulting subjecthood is intimately connected to the way our brain formats the spaces we exist within. I am interested in how space, the space on the planet, might have contributed to the evolution of the relevant areas in the brain for navigating within it. How does the space we are in affect our sense of being and ability to exist within the world?











I am using form to try to elucidate objects and systems that are invisible to the naked eye but are nonetheless there and have huge influences on our lives.

In making the work I am becoming accustomed to using various fluid sets of rules to set up a situation whereby the work's form emerges in a way that enables the creative process to flow in time. This is an attempt to link agency with a catalyzing vitality as a method of material enactment. The sort of formal organization that ensues is a result of negotiating with potential. It is a process of unfolding where variance from a norm causes the intricate characteristics of the form.

I see this as a performative version of abstraction whereby I set up rules for the completion of a structure (the form) and proceed with the chosen media (welding, pen and paper) allowing the process to flow and determine its own form. The end is a direct result of this simple process in time.




















































In conjunction with looking at our neural interface for space, I am beginning to focus some attention on hyperobjects. (Hyperobjects; Philosophy and Ecology after the End of the World. Timothy Morton, 2013).

Hyperobjects are objects that contain systems humans have little power over and but control and contstrain us. Like our genes that have existed since long before we were born and will do so long after as they survive in other people. We must exist within these objects and they in turn influence our being. But the scope of objects like this eludes us because of their enormity. Large cities can function like hyperobjects as can weather systems and other "forces of the cosmos". The Earth's electromagnetic field is a hyperobject. Consciousness too can be looked at as a hyperobject as it is spread over space and time. A hyperobject is an object that is clearly made up of rules and systems many of which humans have not yet discovered.

I am attempting to invent ways of making sculpture and other artwork that can begin to grapple with this kind of non-locality. I am looking for forms and processes to infer the vast expanse of the cosmos within a scale that is approachable by humans.


Philosophers have grappled with how to approach objects for thousands of years. We only know them through our senses and it is difficult therefore for humans to see them as existing in themselves on their own without us. But we know that humans have existed for only a fraction of the age of the planet Earth and objects existed here long before us and likely will be here long after. Bio-organic life is contingent on objects rather than the other way around and our interstitial being is vulnerable to fluctuation in conditions here.

The wind algorithm drawings pictured here are begun by indexing their initial parameters from a real map. The lines I use to start each drawing are taken from the live mapped animation of the earth's winds found at:

The drawing progresses using those parameters as a kind of code generating the abstraction that results. This is an ongoing series that is using this map as an anchor. I see the earth's winds as a way to infer the planet itself as they flow around it in ways that are directed by its shape.






I have created a pill archive by taking direct impressions of a number of them. The pills have then each been cast in silver and/or gold. I have collected more than 100 since 1995. At that time I was given pills as an answer to something that proved to be much more elusive than any pill might conquer. At the same time I knew many other women who had started taking these SSRI pills.


Taking pills is still one of the most taboo subjects for humans who feel shame for being less than healthy. I am using jewellery as a vehicle for liberation because by wearing your medication as some have done it means it is no longer as big of a secret. If we must augment ourselves somehow with pills we are vulnerable and everybody is terrified of that. But, conquering fear is a necessary step toward our well-being.


Colleen Wolstenholme

Recent Work

Apropos Obsolescence (exhibition title) 2018 Art Mur

Hexagraphy, mixed media, 2018

Hexagraphy, grid, 2018

Matrix Indices, 2018

Index; Charcoal, 2018

Spatial Anomaly, 2018

A Year of the Air I Breathe, video 4 minutes, 2018

A Month of the Air I Breathe, 2018

A Day of the Air I Breathe, 2018

Wind Algorithm 5 (jet stream), 2017

Wind Algorithm 2 (mean sea level pressure), 2018

Wind Algorithm 3 (jet stream), 2017

Wind Algorithm 4 (temperature), 2017

Wind Algorithm 1 (relative humidity), 2018








Topology, 2013. Ink on 6 sheets of paper. 88" x 90".

38.84'S, 33.79'W; 295'@9km/h; 03/29/15. Ink on Paper, 44" x 33".





Hexagonal Matrix, 2015. Powdercoated Welded Steel, 87" x 71".



Triangular Matrix, 2015. Powdercoated Welded Steel, 90" x 75".























Multiply Connected Triangles I & II, 2015. Powdercoated welded steel, 42" x 38".



Topology 2, 2013. Ink on 9 sheets of Paper, 51" x 42."



79.54' S x 89.01' E 140' @223km/h -46.0' C, 2015. Ink on paper. 44" x 30".



22.52'S, 179.60'W, 04/07/15



Netmap Red, 2012. Ink on paper, 24" x 19".



Grid Cells, 2013. Ink on paper, 44" x 30".



Cell, 2012. Ink on paper, 24" x 19".


Neuraesthezia, 2011

Courbet Origin of the World Hex pattern

Original; Two ways, 2006

Sugar and Spice, 2007

Pills, 1998; Spill, 2001

Xanax and Dilaudid, 1997-2011. Bronze.

Padded Cell, 1996