Tag Archives: Landscapes of the Mind

Why are we fascinated by brains?

So, Landscapes of the Mind may have closed on May 2, but as you can see we still have the brain on our mind.  Below are some thoughts from our Coordinator of Education Programs, Joann Harnden.

Brains are cool, no question. This holds true for visitors of all ages. It’s true for hesitant high school students who find themselves asking earnest questions about the brain despite their best intentions to remain aloof, and true for the seven and eight-year olds who…

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Last Chance!

Don’t miss the exhibition Landscapes of the Mind: Contemporary Artists Contemplate the Brain. . .the last day to see the show is this Sunday, May 2. 

If you’ve (somehow!) missed all of the previous posts about this show, Landscapes of the Mind features the work of four contemporary artists—Susan Aldworth, Andrew Carnie, Jessica Rankin, and Katy Schimert—who blend the worlds of art and science.

Enjoy the warm weather this weekend and come to WCMA!  Open Tuesday through Saturday 10 am to 5 pm,…

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Brainscapes and Anna Atkins’s cyanotypes

In March, the Williams College Museum of Art held a symposium that brought together artists and neuroscientists for a day of talks and discussions as part of Landscapes of the Mind: Contemporary Artists Contemplate the Brain.  It was during that time that one of the artists in the show, Susan Aldworth, visited us from her home in London.  Susan is an incredibly engaging person, a wonderful artist, and lots of fun.

One of the things that has stayed with me most about…

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“I am both in my mind and out of my brain”


“You can look INTO my brain but you will never find me.”

I have been thinking a lot about the title of the exhibition Landscapes of the Mind. Contemporary neuroscience talks of “mapping the mind” — it aims to chart the neural infrastructure of the human mind. This knowledge is important for our understanding of what it is to be human. But whilst a map of the mind suggests the idea of a landscape if we are talking about…

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Magic Forest – Part 2

Beyond Magic Forest

Our discussions were helpful in aiding Richard Wingate in developing teaching strategies for his students and as well as developing his interest in science and art projects. Since we met, he has served on the selection panel for the Wellcome Trust’s art science grants panel and he has become more interested in teaching pedagogies as we have developed our links. Lots of time in Richard’s office was spent with him making explanatory drawings of the work he was undertaking and specifically…

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Magic Forest

The Symposium for Landscapes of the Mind has just taken place; unfortunately logistics and money meant I couldn’t be there! I hope it went well. Since I couldn’t be there I thought I would jot down some bits about Magic Forest (2002) that might be pertinent.

First thing is maybe to set it, in place and time and send a few images of the protagonists. By a bit of a contorted journey I eventually met Richard Wingate, my science associate at King’s…

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The Woven Brain


“Our eyes may see images, but our brains interpret the visual world and generate cognitive and emotional responses to the visual input from the eyes.”

These words written by Curator Katie Price and Psychology Professor Betty Zimmerberg peaked my interest, inspiring me to be an enthusiastic part of this extraordinary show. It is not only the work in Landscapes of the Mind: Contemporary Artists Contemplate the Brain that is important but the collaboration of thoughts between disciplines that began in Professor…

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The Blind Spot and the Giant Hand

The blind spot is a well-known psychological phenomenon that is a direct correlate of an anatomical structure in the eye. The eye communicates with the brain by virtue of the fact that specific neurons in the eye project their axons out of the eye to the brain. Where this bundle of axons exits the eye is called the optic nerve head, and it turns out that the axons themselves actually crowd out the light sensors of eye, the photoreceptors, so…

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Where is Delphi?

The first time I looked at Katy Schimert’s Oedipal Blind Spot with Professors Gail Newman and Lara Hutson, and a friendly bunch of us, in order to find a point of entry and get my bearings, I followed the geographical landscape that this mural maps out.  Since that first viewing, I have remained fascinated by a particular feature of this Oedipal landscape:  Where is Delphi?

When Sophocles’ play Oedipus Rex opens, the city of Thebes has been afflicted with a terrible…

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Behind the Scenes, Part 1

I was fortunate enough to play a small role in helping Katy Schimert install her wall drawing, Oedipal Blind Spot, at WCMA. It was a fascinating experience to get to know a working artist and not only learn about, but literally take part in, her creative process. When Katie Price, co-curator of Landscapes of the Mind, asked me if I would be interested in helping Katy install her piece, I was incredibly flattered but also unsure if I had heard…

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