Rebecca Ivatts

All in the Mind

Rebecca Ivatts - All in the Mind

A series of brain scan-inspired works which explore various aspects of neuroscience – from consciousness, memory, identity and perception to brain anatomy and disorders including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and stroke.


So why paint the brain? My work had always focused on the nude, but then antenatal scans of my first child opened my eyes to the painterly mystery of medical imaging. The daughter of a biologist, I decided to take my paintbrush ‘inside’…


ALL IN THE MIND started with guidance from a London radiographer. Brain imaging provided a passport to making the most abstract of concepts real, a springboard for the imagination, for finding the ‘out there’ through the ‘in here’. Suddenly, an angiogram took on the totemic symmetry of a tribal mask, a major stroke looked like an incredible opening up to the world. I peered into white and grey matter and saw dense ‘gardens’ inhabited by faces, bodies, ghosts, butterflies, constellations…


Together with paint (applied fast and wet on the floor to exploit the medium’s plasticity), the works combine all manner of materials – feathers, mirrors, chains, sink drainers, telephone wires, wool... Each is accompanied by a short explanatory note. This is not art purely for art's sake, but art with the capacity to educate and raise awareness.


I’m currently collaborating with neuroscience professors at Oxford University, and a book is being made about my paintings with accompanying essays by neuroscientists: https://unbound.com/books/all-in-the-mind/


ALL IN THE MIND has been exhibited at...

British Neuroscience Festival 2017, ICC, Birmingham

Last Supper (commercial art gallery), London

Spreading Grace development centre, United Arab Emirates

Exeter Uni medical sciences conference

Bodleian Library, Oxford University - 200th anniversary of Parkinson’s Essay on the Shaking Palsy

Parkinson's event, Oxford University

Beauty and the Brain symposium, Pecs, Hungary

Fens 2017, Hungary

Dimensions of Dementia (Guarantors of Brain, Wellcome Trust and Creative Reactions), London

Eurobest, Creativity and innovation festival for European advertising industry, Nov 2017

Radley College, exhibition, January 2018. And STEM event

Chicago neuro film festival, March 2018

Ashmolean Museum, Oxford for Brain Awareness Week, March 2018