In our latest SciArt profile, we focus on crochet with Tahani Baakdhah, a vision researcher from Toronto, Canada, currently working as postdoc fellow at the Krembil research Institute. Tahani creates crochet models inspired by her science work and her desire to communicate science and medicine to the general public.
Where are you originally from and what do you work on now?
I am a vision researcher from Toronto, Canada. I am currently working as postdoc fellow at the Krembil research Institute
Were you always going to be a scientist?
During my medical training, I was curious about the mechanisms underlying clinical diseases and how groundbreaking discoveries are revealing more and more secrets every day due to recent advancements in science. So, I wanted to pursue a career where I can translate basic research to patients’ bedsides and clinics.
And what about art – have you always enjoyed it?
Yes, art has been always my hobby. In school, I was a member of the art club. I enjoyed exploring different mediums like painting, drawing, fabric work and many more!
What or who are your most important artistic influences?
I was inspired by the work of Dr Anne Cooke from the University of Bristol in the UK, who started the knit-a-neuron project. I started with simple neuron patterns and then transitioned to more complicated patterns. My collection now includes many neuron types in the nervous system and the retina.
How do you make your art?
I get inspiration from projects I’m working on at the lab, seminar topics, recently published papers or through my customer orders.
Does your art influence your science at all, or are they separate worlds?
My science influences my art! When I get excited about a topic, the first thing I think about is crocheting it.
What are you thinking of working on next?
I am working on several books: one with the brain and neuron patterns, another about the body organs and a third with the patterns for my science amigurumi collection.
You can find more of Tahani’s work on:
Thanks to Tahani and all the other SciArtists we have featured so far. You can find the full list here. We’re always on the lookout for new people to feature in this series – whatever kind of art you do, from sculpture to embroidery to music to drawing, if you want to share it with the community just email firstname.lastname@example.org (nominations are also welcome!)