Head-On

Art with the brain in mind

Caterina Albano, Ken Arnold & Marina Wallace

Published by Artakt, 2002

ISBN: 0-9542416-0-6


Human brains are the most complicated objects in the universe. Little wonder then that artists and scientists have found them endlessly interesting. This exhibition tries to make intriguing connections between artistic and scientific investigations into the brain. At its core are projects by eight contemporary artists inspired by scientific issues.

Artists have always been curious about how we sense the world, working as ‘neuroscientists’ of a different kind. Through portraiture they have also extensively explored the relationship between our faces and minds. After the Renaissance, scientific studies of the human mind focused on the anatomy of the brain. Examining it in ever-finer detail led nineteenth-century researchers to discover the ‘cell of thought’: the neurone. Recently, more integrated approaches to the brain have tried to balance bit-by-bit localised views with more holistic studies.

Led by contemporary artworks, this exhibition is organized around three broad themes: the anatomy of the brain; models of the mind; and face, form and character. Rather than providing answers, ‘Head On’ suggests that we might understand more about the brain by seeking than by finding results.

With contributions from: Colin Blakemore; Richard Gregory and David Hockney

Artists: Andrew Carnie; Claude Heath; Annie Cattrell; Katharine Dowson; Osi Audu; Letizia Galli; Gerhard Lang and Tim O’Riley


Published in conjunction with the exhibition of the same name shown at the Science Museum, London, 15 March – 28 July 2002