Here we go again for 2018 Brain Project! Toronto is gearing up for a third year of raising awareness with over 100 new one-of-a-kind brain creations by local and international artists with a focus on bolder designs in their medium of choice.
#NoBlankBrains descriptions provided by sponsor Yogen Früz Pinkberry. The last two years were sponsored by Telus.
City Hall 10/10 July 9
Brookfield Place 5 /5 July 10
Distillery District /5
Mars 3 /3 Aug 15
Yonge St. Clair
Union Station 5/5 July 24
Simcoe Wave Deck 3/3 July 26
Yorkville 6 /6 Aug 1
Four Seasons Hotel
2018 TOTAL TO DATE - 32 out of 47
As humans, memories are one of our most sacred possessions allowing us the ability to connect, grow and evolve throughout life. The spiralling oceanic imagery in Geometric Memories is a symbol of our brains’ subconscious mind, and memory expressed visually. The sculpture was inspired by personal experiences living with post-concussion syndrome, and is in honour of everyone suffering from the devastating effects of head injury and memory loss.
A change in perspective leads to a change in experience.
Melissa Amber [b. 1983] + River Lee [b. 1989] are contemporary fine art photographers from British Columbia. They are known for their depth of concept and philosophical undertones.
The women began their artistic collaboration known as “Sisters Of The Woods” in early 2015 while healing and overcoming life-altering concussions together using the curative power of nature and art.
We have all been raised to self-reflect and consider who we are, what we want and where we are going. Our view of ourselves is frequently based on how we were raised, educated and treated as children. As we age, we see ourselves further reflected in our families, friends and more generally in how successfully we have navigated employment and financial stability. We often subscribe to the media’s rigid, impenetrable polished ideals that are framed in clear-cut definitions of identity and beauty. “Self Reflection” visually depicts these tendencies while gently reminding us of how aging and disease can also provide new self-images. Though clouded, our self-portraits can also become softer and more deeply beautiful.
“Acri” is both a cautionary tale and an ode to mankind’s resilience in the midst of degenerative brain diseases. Like these pencils, the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s causes a gradual decline in memory recall, thinking, reasoning skills, and more. It is important to understand the early symptoms of Alzheimer’s and dementia in order to better care for and treat loved ones.
The title “Acri,” comes from the Latin for “sharp.” Latin continues to live on in countless books, inscribed into buildings, and printed on U.S. currency. We live as long as the last person who remembers us, and we live forever through the stories written about us. Degenerative brain diseases may take our memories and lives, but it can never erase our existence.
“Nor shall death brag thou wander’st in his shade, When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st. So long as men can breathe or eyes can see, So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.” (William Shakespeare, Sonnet 18)
Steve Aoki Neon Future
“You can be who you want to be, become what you want to be, and how you want to change the world starts with you. So start with a positive mental attitude, feed your brain and change within yourself first.”
BirdO Mental Vacation
In Canada, the flamingo is easily recognized as a symbol of escape. This piece has a distinctive style and esthetic, and serves as a reminder that it is important to give the mind some daily down time. Leave your smart phones out of the bedroom or away from the dinner table. Engage in conversations after the inbox is cleared. Replace your screen with a paperback. Life in the 21st century is moving rapidly. Our minds deserve a mental vacation.
NO BRAINER - #REPAINTHISTORY
Through what she calls “paper paintings,” artist Andrea Bolley uses paper not as traditional collage but as a drawing element. She subverts the formal, manufactured aspects of the original paper by painting over the existing stripes with rich black and white paint. Highlights of pigment create even more sense of depth and space, and completely alter the paper’s initial processed feel toward a more painterly one.
"The handmade over the man-made" is what is important in these works. Here, the artist uses wallpaper and wrapping paper of black and white stripes that morph into the names of female artists from past history.
Bolley explores the overlooked part of history, female artists, and their impact on her practice. This piece was created in collaboration with Repaint History, a female founded start-up focused on bringing recognition to forgotten female artists of the past, because selective history is so passé.
Emily Carriere Static
An old black and white photograph serves as the background for this work of art, but it is enlarged to such a degree that it is abstracted and the photographic grain becomes the most prevalent feature. A growth of petals extends from a central point, reaching out to more distant areas of the brain. This piece focuses on themes of memory, nostalgia and interpretation.
There are still so many unanswered questions around cognitive impairment. It can be puzzling and mysterious. However, when we produce art together, it lights a spark and some of Baycrest’s clients can recall some unexplainable memory. It is like a flicker of their history and evokes a glimmer of hope.
This sculpture was collaboratively designed and made by clients and staff of the Donald and Elaine Rafelman Creative Arts Studio at Baycrest. Residents with cognitive disorders chose objects, to create the piece that symbolizes their imagination and artistic spirit. They all found immense pleasure and relaxation in the unrestricted use of materials that were placed in jars in front of them and loved the sensations of freedom and purpose to create what they wished.
My Mind is Swimming
Quite often when we say “my mind is swimming,” we mean our thoughts are jamming up together and we are overwhelmed. A more positive view is that neurotransmitters are influencing mood and stress-reducing hormones. In this piece, artist Gina Godfrey draws inspiration from early Renaissance paintings that are rich in philosophic symbolism regarding fish. An abstract version of a fish is dressed with jewels to add whimsy and the eye receives special attention, as it does in many of Godfrey’s works of art.
Mary Ann Grainger Pop Art
Who doesn't have happy memories of blowing big, bright bubbles? You blow and blow and the bubble gets bigger and bigger – and then pop! It's gone. Unfortunately, like a perfectly blown bubble, memories can disappear in an instant. With research into Alzheimer's and dementia, we can help keep those bubbles from popping.
This sculpture is dedicated to the amazing doctors and scientists who are working hard to help keep our memories alive.
NAHI! Get Me Out!
Artist Maria Qamar (also known as HateCopy) has dedicated this sculpture to the women who helped her remember where she came from.
Living, Breathing Landscapes
The brain exerts centralized control over the rest of the body, which allows rapid and coordinated responses to changes in the environment. Our brains are “Living, Breathing Landscapes” – always working, adapting and reacting.
Artist Adam Colangelo uses copper as a medium to express the beauty in life. The connection between copper and the brain is clear. The brain has among the highest levels of copper in the body, and the brain requires this metal in balance for normal health function.
While training to be a yoga teacher in Bali, Sang Eun Ahn often sat with other students around a mandala and sharing positive thoughts and vibes. She felt light, whole and creative. The mandalas were beautifully therapeutic and healing. Since then, she has been waiting for the right opportunity to use this beautiful and nurturing piece of nature in her artwork .
Mandalas represents wholeness. The life of the flower consists of overlapping circles that bring positive energy and spiritual enlightenment. Mandalas can be created using many types of flowers including roses, lotus flowers, and daffodils.
Roger Edwards sculpture is inspired by the many wonders of the human brain!
In the beginning our brains are so perfectly clear and full of inspiring light.
When the brain is troubled, that light can get distorted and begin to dim.
It is important that we vigorously advocate to keep the light glowing in our miraculous brains.
The Places We Forget to Remember
This series of dwellings and human forms gives the viewer a whimsical look into the relationship that humans have with their natural surroundings, and also questions the impact that imagination has on our perceptions of reality.
I Love You
Artist Heather Black painted a fictional scenario that she has not experienced firsthand. It’s not that this moment did not exist. It is inspired by a photo that was shared in social media. Black happened to see it among the millions of images she sees in a day. But that’s not what’s important; what’s important is that out of all of those images, this one stayed with her – not necessarily in her mind, but in her heart (the details of the shot may not even be accurate). It was the words “I love you” broadcast loud and clear that stuck. “I love you,” perhaps the most salient expression of emotion in the English language, reminded her that people suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia can remember emotions even after they forget the actual event that caused those emotions.
So far, my favourite.
Mindful Emancipation - Derya Ozparlak
Mindful Emancipation depicts what goes on in the mind of a modern human being who suffers from being trapped in a fast-paced and stressful life. In this artwork, skyscrapers are everywhere, rising too high as if they are making it difficult for the individual to breathe. Wearing his business attire, holding on to his briefcase, this exhausted employee is striving to fly away from a stressful life that seems to have strangled him. Inspiration came from observing the urban environment.
The lighting in Union Station is not easy on photographing these brains.
Connect/Disconnect is a fibrous blue landscape engulfed in pods. This blue space represents communication with those in this world. The pods are those memories we have experienced throughout our lives.
Through predominant relationships, autism spectrum disorder reveals a different way to experience the world. The ASD brain has the inability to socialize naturally leaving a sense of isolation. Alternatively, ASD can also present inconceivable gifts, like brilliant stars in the midst of darkness.
This collection of lonely chairs represents some of the myriad people suffering from dementia and Alzheimer's disease and the associated loneliness – felt not just by them but also by family and friends witnessing their cognitive decline. The assemblage is somewhat chaotic and nonsensical, similar to what the artist imagines dementia might feel like. No two chairs are identical, indicating solitude amidst the crowd. Tangled together, they are a symbol of support and hope that we are not all alone as we navigate life.
Probably my second favourite.
“BRAIN FREEZE” is a series of objects that represent functional areas of the brain, all embedded in colour-dyed, solid Lucite. The work was created to highlight specific actions that correlate with brain activities. A juxtaposition of movement communicated through visual experience, frozen in time. “BRAIN FREEZE” is a snapshot into the enormous complexity of the human brain that embodies a multitude of messages which co-exist within each object.
People live with individual challenges that may be physical, mental or emotional. Daily life changes when someone struggles with the effects of brain health issues. The perspectives of those who are medically strained or involved also change. It’s an emotional time. The artist was inspired by her own experiences and wants to help.
We experience art through multiple frames of reference. It is said that the typical visitor to a museum spends but eight seconds with each object on display. With the passage of time, our memory of a piece of art is therefore distorted. The warping of artist Paul Kay’s image of Rembrandt’s “Nightwatch” provokes reflection on experience and memory, especially as our digital world becomes more and more instantaneous.
SIMCOE WAVE DECK HARBOURFRONT
Yellow Black in my Brain
Bruno Billio is a Canadian artist who works from an interdisciplinary background. At once an installation artist, a sculptor and a designer, Billio creates challenging works informed by his command of each of these practices. The artist is currently living and working in Toronto. For the past decade, he has been the resident artist at the Gladstone Hotel on Queen West in the fashionable art gallery district.
This artist looks at the brain as the deep dark mysterious universe. With the ability to imagine, visualize and manifest, next to our heart, our brain is our truest magic as human beings on this planet. The piece is inclusive, incorporates bold bright colours and includes stars and constellations to add hope and light.
Eternal Sunrise of a Damaged Mind
Shay Salehi is a Toronto-based artist who works with glass. She attended Sheridan College to explore her desire to work with glass, and has been interested in the fragility of glass and its ability to mimic other materials. Salehi works in her studio space in Toronto’s Historic Distillery District and studies Sculpture/Installation at OCADU. She has exhibited work across Canada, the United States, the Czech Republic, Italy, Austria, Japan and Germany.
Looking at the Light
This sculpture, made with flameworked glass, is symbolic of the expansion of our knowledge and the extension of our vision and understanding. The brain might be a problem but it is also the solution.
The kiss print can symbolize so much: love, self-love, respect, adoration, nurture, beauty, lust, sex, glamour, nostalgia, warmth, merriment and so much more – all of which strike a positive emotion.
While our minds are an endless cycle of information and emotions, it's best to place an emphasis on those which allow you to feel good and let the white noise drown the negative.
Spread more love, focus on the positive and allow your true colours to radiate. We are blessed with one precious life. Give it permission to smile more often!
OPEN 24 HOURS
Open 24 hours originally came from the idea of a convenience store OPEN sign, and the notion that our brains are open 24 hours, 7 days a week, just like a 7-Eleven store.
It’s important for us to live life with openness and compassion, fearlessly and vivaciously. The concept is that our brain is always working non-stop and running 24/7. So we must take care of it, ourselves and each other and find a cure for Alzheimer’s.
The artists picked the colour pink for the OPEN neon sign because it represents love and all things sweet and happy like bubblegum. The “24hrs” colour blue represents an endless summer sky, the blue sea and makes them feel grounded. Their grandmother has Alzheimer’s and it is important for them to be part of this project to help raise awareness. Memories are an integral part of the soul and living life with an OPEN mind and spirit is crucial to cherishing those special moments 24/7.
Graphic contemporary artist Kestin Cornwall believes sports and art help to create a community, bringing people together as fans, on teams, in running groups and as workout partners. He is also interested in the theory of epigenetic inheritance: the idea that environmental factors can affect the genes of children. Cornwall realizes there are positive and negative implications, and points out we must be sure we use them to bridge gaps and start conversations. Cornwall feels we need to push our collective consciousness toward a more positive, bright and inclusive future.
This piece is inspired by the importance of community and creating safe places to offer and receive support. A strong sense of community adds real value to our lives. It helps us feel more connected to the world around us and makes a great difference in our happiness and our health. It has the power to nourish relationships and cultivate opportunities in a meaningful way. Real communities help us feel a part of something and give us the ability to recognize, unquestionably, that we belong.
All That Glitters
The artist uses a thin layer of plaster on the mold to create and sculpt the flowers around the brain, then using acrylics and glitter to paint the brain. Her idea was to create a beautiful garden- just like the human brain.