A detail from the short animated film Sleepless
A detail from the short animated film Sleepless

Image credit: Silent Signal

Animating sleep science

What do you get when you cross an artist with a scientist?

It's not a trick question, but the basis of a project called Silent Signal, which brought together six animation artists and six leading biomedical scientists, to create experimental animated artworks exploring new ways of thinking about the human body.

Oxford University's Professor Peter Oliver worked with artist Ellie Land, talking about the links now being discovered between sleep and mental health. The result is a five minute animation titled Sleepless. Its rhythm is inspired by the circadian cycle and displays visual icons rooted in the science of sleep, whilst featuring the voices of a group of mental health service users who share their experience of disrupted sleep/wake patterns.

That disruption is the target of Peter’s research. He studies gene function in the brain and the consequences of gene dysfunction in disease, with focus on the relationship between sleep and mental health.

Watch the animation below or find out more at: http://www.silentsignal.org/Collaborations/sleepless/