The Heart of the Brain

Issue 28 November 2016

Communicating the complexities of chronic illness through art.

Elizabeth Jameson’s artwork lives at the intersection of science, art and technology. Inspired by the brain’s ability to change and adapt, Jameson’s work expands the conventional definition of portraiture by using her own brain scans as way of confronting what it means to be human. Diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in 1991, she became obsessed with the inside of her mind. With no background in art, she began using her brain scans to celebrate her mind, reinterpreting the images that represented her ever-changing understanding of living with a progressive disease. In the process, she became an artist.

Dendritic Forms and Virtual Worlds

Rick L Garner is a Professor of Art Education in the School of Art and Design at Kennesaw State University near Atlanta. His educational background includes degrees in studio art, neuropsychology, art therapy, and art education. His research interests lie in the relationships between cognitive neuroscience, creativity, and the visual arts, as well as technology and disabilities. He has produced a range of artwork, much of which is inspired by neuroscience and his work using art for brain injury rehabilitation and for working with students with disabilities in educational settings, as well as in psychiatric settings

Bound in a Net of Memories

Kindra Crick is an artist who gives visual expression to the wonder and process of scientific inquiry and discovery. In her installations and layered mixed-media work, she incorporates drawings, diagrams, maps and imagery from under the microscope. Drawing on memory and addiction research on the perineuronal nets surrounding neurons by neuroscientist Dr. John Harkness from Dr. Sorg’s lab at WSU, her installation ‘Your Joys, Sorrow, Memory and Ambition’ consists of over 1000ft of hand woven magnet wire with netting-wrapped tendrils of lit cables – imagining the microscopic elements that might preserve or disrupt the very core of our memories and essential sense of self.


Ralph Helmick is a sculptor who is interested in how referential forms and images can be broken down and subsequently re-formed anew. The approach is often paralleled by a fascination with how small three-dimensional components can collectively create larger sculptures, forging a microcosmic/macrocosmic dynamic. In this exclusive interview he discusses his work and ideas.

In Dialogue with Art and Science

“Science and art both seek to observe, record and explain the world around us, just using different means. Both have their theoretical frameworks, evolving techniques, and schools of thought. Above all, both scientists and artists need to be creative and insightful in order to make meaningful contributions to their respective fields.”

Amanpreet Badhwar is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Centre de Recherche de l’Institut Universitaire de Gériatrie de Montréal (CRIUGM), Université de Montréal , where she works on Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and related dementias. Her research combines structural and functional imaging with clinical and genetic assessments to relate variations in brain connectivity to clinical status, and to develop early markers of AD pathology. She is also an artist. In this exclusive interview she discusses her relationship between art and science.

Megan McGlynn

“My work is inspired equally by architecture and neuroscience. Through a layering of geometric networks, my work provides a glimpse into the complexity and functionality of neural processes. It explores human perception from the inside and out: how we take in and recollect visual information through the anatomy of our brains, and the unruly imagery it creates in the mind’s eye.”