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Kimonos of the Senses

Woman wearing the Kimono for the Sense of Taste.  16" x 20", oil on canvas, 2004.


This series on Kimonos of the senses reflects the Japanese Tea Ceremony, which was designed with all of the senses in mind. The taste of the tea; the sound of the water boiling and pouring; the smell of incense, the tea and the straw of the tatami mat; the sight of a special flower arrangement and a hanging scroll; and the touch of the ceramic pottery and glaze as well as the look and feel of the luxurious kimonos stimulate and cleanse the five senses in an otherwise simple room. Good conversation and the enjoyment of all the guests is also of utmost importance.  Julie was pregnant when attending this ceremony.  It was her first caffeine in a while, and it definitely caused some baby jumps! 

Kimono for the Sense of Taste.  36" x 42", mixed media, 2005.

Taste bud images courtesy of Bernd Lindemann, University of Saarlandes, from the paper "Multi-photon microscopy of cell types in the viable taste disk of the frog", Jack H.-Y. Li · Bernd Lindemann, Cell Tissue Res (2003) 313:11–27.

Kimono for the Sense of Touch.  36" x 42", mixed media, 2005.

Back panel and sleeve images from Jason Meyers and David Corey, Harvard Medical School, from the paper "Lighting up the senses: FM1-43 loading of sensory cells through nonselective ion channels", J Neurosci. 2003 May 15;23(10):4054-65. Side panels are of Merkel Cells and Neurons, courtesy of Dr. Michael Welsh, University of Iowa.

Kimono for the Sense of Smell.  36" x 42", mixed media, 2005.

Inspired in part by article and images in "Visualizing an Olfactory Sensory Map", by Mombaerts P, Wang F, Dulac C, Chao SK, Nemes A, Mendelsohn M, Edmondson J, Axel R., Cell. 1996 Nov 15;87(4):675-86, and the review"The Molecular Logic of Smell", by Axel R., Sci Am. 1995 Oct;273(4):154-9; and images by Dr. Richard Costanzo of Virginia Commonwealth University -olfactory neuron "flower"; image and panels.

Kimono for the Sense of Hearing.  36" x 42", mixed media, 2005.

Side panels are view of hair cells inside an ear from the top, courtesy of Dr. James O. Pickles, University of Queensland. Spiral structure is a human cochlea, and the background patterns are human otoliths. 

Kimono for the Sense of Sight.  36" x 42", mixed media, 2005.

The sun-like image at the top is inspired by what the human retina looks like through a camera focused inside the eye. The image across the bottom is a stained cross section of the cells at the back of the eye responsible for seeing, which includes the rods and cones. 

Confocal image of macaque retina. across bottom of Kimono, courtesy of Dr. Steve Massey, Ophthalmology and Visual Science, University of Texas Medical School at Houston. Central "sun" image of human retina based on "Human Retina" watercolor by Chris Gralapp, MA, CMI.

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