Rebecca Ivatts

All in the Mind

Rebecca Ivatts - All in the Mind

‘Men really DO have bigger brains’... ‘Is the human brain hardwired for adultery?’... ‘Does brain structure determine your political views?’... ‘How watching online porn can alter our grey matter’... ‘How I discovered I have the brain of a psychopath.’


Newspaper headlines provide lurid evidence of how the brain has entered the popular domain: how it has become common currency for explaining our choices, foibles and innate capacity for good and bad.


This strange wrinkled organ has also spawned an incredible variety of vivid imagery – from CT, MRI and PET scans to angiographies and computer simulations.


In the spirit of this general fascination, my 30-odd ‘mental portraits’ exploit brain imaging as a springboard for the imagination. Despite some initial guidance from a radiologist at Whipp’s Cross Hospital, London, the emphasis in these works is emphatically human as opposed to clinical.


As the title, All in the mind suggests, each work is open to interpretation. Each viewer will already have formed their own distinct neural pathways and associations with these cerebral images. Different reactions to Dichotomania for example have included: “I love this, it’s like one of those crazy days on acid” as well as “Ugh, I find this image disturbing. I can’t bear to look at it.”


These works will go on show at the BRITISH NEUROSCIENCE FESTIVAL 2017 at the ICC, Birmingham.


The paintings – acrylic and mixed media on board, mounted on wood - work as individuals, pairs or small or large groups alike. Each work measures 84.1 x59.4 cm, and is accompanied by an explanatory note.