Featuring artwork drawn from or inspired by the brain, this exhibition brings together the artwork of four contemporary artists—Susan Aldworth (British, b. 1955), Andrew Carnie (British, b. 1957), Jessica Rankin (Australian, b. 1971), and Katy Schimert (American, b. 1963). The objects on view visualize the internal processes of the brain such as memory, thought, and perception. They use a variety of media, including etching, embroidery, sculpture, and an installation of neuron projections.
Using the brain as inspiration, each artist is unique in his or her own approach. Susan Aldworth became interested in the brain as a visual image after she was a neurology patient. Her etchings, called Brainscapes (2006), are based on her observations of patients’ brain scans at the Royal London Hospital. These works allow her to explore consciousness and the sense of self within the physical brain. Andrew Carnie demonstrates the birth and differentiation of brain cells (neurons) in his installation Magic Forest (2002). Jessica Rankin, inspired by “mental maps,” explores ideas of memory, intuition, and interpretation using embroidery on large-scale pieces of organdy. Katy Schimert is interested in how the internal body mimics the external world. Her sculpture, Brain, a recent gift to the museum, uses simple domestic materials (wire mesh, metal pins, and light bulbs) to represent an over life-size human brain.
Co-curated by Professor of Psychology Betty Zimmerberg and Interim Associate Curator Kathryn Price, Landscapes of the Mind underscores WCMA’s commitment to multidisciplinary approaches to looking and thinking about art.