Artefact Development – Brain Explosion

After having watching Apocalypse Now three times, we can safely say as a group that it mainly focuses on the psychological effects of war. The characters journey up the Nung River and past the Cambodian boarder gradually gets darker and darker. The scenes get more violent and the characters gradually lose their minds. We decided upon an artefact idea after having researched into the effects of war on the human brain. This blog shows our process of making this artefact.

As a group, Yazz, Carla, James and I decided to make our artefact using clay as we knew we wanted to sculpt something quite detailed.

To start off Yazz made some detailed miniature models of a brain using polymer clay and plasticine.


I had sculpted a quick brain in Zbrush with the idea that we could have the spinal cord with other veins hanging down and forming at the bottom to represent an explosion.

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As the frontal lobe of the brain is the main area which is effected emotionally during war, we decided that this would be the main part of the brain to explode. After making our preliminary models minus the explosion aspect, we started to collect our materials and began creating.


We created the explosion by ripping up the frontal lobe area, we then used wire and chewing gum to create the ‘flesh-like’ look.


During the process of making the brain, James had made a start on the explosion. Here are a few images showing the outcome, before and after painting.


When looking at the finished product of the explosion, it really needed up being too large for the size of the brain and strayed off from the path it was meant to take. The brain looked out of place and instead of looking more like a mushroom cloud, it ended up just sitting on top of one. We decided to remove the brain and re-work the base to a more appropriate size. (Results below)

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Group member credits and links to blogs

Yazz Herron –

Carla Hutchinson –

James Goodwin –


The Why Files. (2017). Traumatic brain injury. [online] Available at: [Accessed 1 Mar. 2017]. (2017). Cerebral Hemispheres. [online] Available at: [Accessed 1 Mar. 2017].

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