top of page

Laser Cut Concertina Books


Recent pieces, laser  cut book works on exhibit:  Heart and Mind   and   How we Touch One Another   at the Spencer Museum Kansas, USA

Further Laser cut works

Unfolding Sheets (2018) and Opening Up (2019) are four laser  cut concertina books, developed by Andrew to explore shaping and flowing presentation devices reflecting the symmetry of the brain. Unfolding Sheets has been exhibited in Edited, curated by Roberta Buiani and Dalila Honorato, SciArt Cabinet Gallery, ArtSci Salon, University of Toronto, Canada (2018), Symbiartic (2018), part of the 4th International Biomedical Congress, Sophia, Bulgaria and was shown at the Spencer Museum of Art, Lawrence, Kansas in August 2020.


The work Opening Up has recently been in the exhibition, Under the Skin: Anatomy, art, and identity, Royal Society of Physicians, London (2019 - 2020).

Unfolding Sheets   2018

In Between the Covers: Andrew Carnie  Laser Cut Accodion Book Works

Between 2016 and 2019, artist Andrew Carnie created "Unfolding Sheets" and "Opening Up," works consisting of two scientific drawing books laser-cut to reflect the symmetry of the brain. The books, which can be displayed in a variety of ways and spread out in a variety of formats, show a cross-sectional image of the brain and invite the viewer to discover the beauty of human anatomy.

But why is symmetry often associated with a pattern of beauty? From butterfly wings to plant leaves to our limbs, bilateral symmetry has a clear function of attraction and aesthetics. It is undeniably satisfying to see this piece by Carnie distributed in space. In the art world, symmetry and beauty are two concepts that have been linked for many centuries. From the sculptures of Ancient Greece to Leonardo da Vinci's 'Phi code', symmetry materializes ideals and aspirations.

Phi has now become famous thanks to the novel The Da Vinci Code: The Human Body - between total height and the distance from the feet to the navel, for example - and is considered by some to define beauty. So much so that Stephen Marquardt, an American maxillofacial surgeon, has mathematically created a mask that he claims is the archetype of a beautiful face. The idea: the more a face fits into the mask, the more beautiful it will be.

There is a theory developed by Gestalt psychologists within visual perception. According to the law of symmetry, the brain perceives images that are symmetrical as equal in such a way that seen from a certain distance they form a single unique element. This system of processing perceived information is of great importance in nature because using this type of pattern improves the efficiency of the process itself. It is easier and faster for the brain to generate an image from already established ones.

Identical patterns generate a visual balance that the brain likes to see, it is stimulated to see similar shapes because it creates an image with less effort. In general terms, symmetry is not only a matter of attraction but is also related to human evolution. Carnie likes the idea that such symmetry will not hide the ghost in the machine.

Andrew Carnie achieves the coexistence between art and science, supporting his artistic production with extensive scientific research behind it. With Laser Cut Books, the artist finds in visual representation a means to reflect our understanding of how the human body works. Although they are not scientific pieces, they invite us to contemplation and reflection.

Influenced by the scientists Santiago Ramón Cajal and Camillo Golgi, Andrew Carnie reinvokes the power of scientific drawing, which has often revolutionized science. The images exhibited in Laser Cut Books also reveal the power of observation, since through these drawings it is possible to access knowledge that otherwise would not be possible. Neurons and neural circuits, as beautiful as they are precise, challenge our understanding in surprising ways.

Nadia Evangelina Carrizo: art critic and curator, Venuzuela

Opening Up   2020

bottom of page