Jennifer Thackray, Mapping Brains
The many pathways of the brain which fire together through fibers of electricity, send
signals to our body controlling our movement, speech, and all functions of our everyday
life. When blocked or damaged these pathways have a certain instinctual properties
giving a placidity that re-route these signals in sometimes unusual ways.
The brain of an adult human weighs about three pounds and contains billions of cells,
The two distinct classes of cells in the nervous system are neurons (nerve cells) and
glia (glial cells).The basic signaling unit of the nervous system is the neuron. The brain
contains billions of neurons; the best estimates are that the adult human brain contains
1011 neurons. The interactions between neurons enable people to think, move, maintain
homeostasis, and feel emotions.
Communication between neurons is the foundation for brain function. Understanding
how neurotransmission occurs is crucial to understanding how the brain processes and
integrates information. Interruption of neural communication causes changes in cognitive
processes and behavior. A neuron usually has multiple processes, or fibers, called
dendrites that extend from the cell body. These processes usually branch out somewhat
like tree branches and serve as the main apparatus for receiving input into the neuron
from other nerve cells.
An average neuron forms approximately 1,000 synapses with other neurons. It has been
estimated that there are more synapses in the human brain than there are stars in our
galaxy. Furthermore, synaptic connections are not static. Neurons form new synapses or
strengthen synaptic connections in response to life experiences and trauma.
Both artists have experienced brain trauma in their lifetime and are intimately fascinated
with the science of neurology. Through creative processes they are exploring the
possibilities of understanding how to heal themselves. This installation combines a
sculptural fiber-optics light piece and drawings based on microscopic neurons and
pathways of the brain depicting the universe inside your head.
Bio(s) for the artist statement. Condensed and appropriate to the audience with
consideration to this work in particular.
Jessica Kay Bodner’s sculpted suspended pieces, wrought of spiraling steel, casts
stellar light projecting shadows that spin abstract lines onto the surrounding surfaces,
creating a double dimension of drawing. She is also known for her series of suspended
galaxy forms. Orbs of light appear like stars or distant planets that float on spiraling tube
steel, stellar light that has no beginning and no end emanates from these celestial forms.
Other commissioned works include large woven metal sculptures, wrought iron forms
reminiscent of archeological subjects, illuminated flora and fauna sculptures forged in
steel and large scale paintings and installations. Her inspirations stem from natural and
scientific influences. Her work has been commissioned for numerous public and private
projects nationally and internationally.
Jennifer Lyn Thackray's work explores the parallels of drawing collages and layering
them with written metaphors. Visual ideas lead your minds eyes into the depths of the
landscape of layered materials of pencil on paper and fabric with woven topographic
resemblances. The content juxtapositions recent life experiences that have brought her
closer to the mirrored images in the mind and hearts reflective instinctual desire to build
them inside out. Through traveling and working in various environments in the world
with extraordinary humans that have influenced ideas, visions and concepts, Jennifer has
learned to see the world through multifaceted lenses. Past works include documentary
and mutli-media projects.