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The most elaborate artistic visualization of the brain in the world, the work highlights what is happening inside the human brain while an individual is looking at such a masterpiece. Artists Dr. Greg Dunn and Dr. Brian Edwards hope this work – entitled Self Reflected because it is your brain perceiving itself – will increase appreciation for the brain’s complexity through the power of art.
While other disciplines often struggle to convey complex, multi-layered concepts, art is uniquely positioned to communicate ideas that are difficult, if not impossible to express otherwise. Self Reflected takes advantage of art’s power to use perception and emotion to implant a deeply nuanced idea and make direct connections about the brain of the viewer directly into the brain of the viewer.
The visual art form is ideally suited for the task of opening one’s awareness to the most amazing wonder of our bodies because it displays the beauty of the brain’s immensely vast and orderly structure while at the same time showcasing its chaos. The brain’s neurons form branching fractal patterns that anyone familiar with chaos theory will recognize, yet not even our most sophisticated medical imagine technology can map the deepest, tiniest levels of neural pathways.
To illustrate the brain’s unique combination of randomness and order, the artists chose to paint each one individually using the technique of blowing ink on the canvas with jets of air. This combines the deliberation of the artist with the unpredictability of the technique to mimic what actually happens in the brain’s structure.