brain series; acrylic
I hope I can do this piece justice in my explanation. I will first talk about how the idea came about. I had seen an Egyptian exhibit at the Toledo Museum of Art. I remember reading about how past civilizations believed the brain was just a useless mass, so they removed it and did not retain it in a sacred jar like other organs. The heart was believed to be where mental function took place and was left intact. I started thinking about how we now know the brain to be the center of thought and emotion, yet we still refer to our hearts in terms of love and feelings. What does this mean?
I decided to research the heart further. As it turns out, the heart has many nerves running through it, not just blood vessels. This suggests that perhaps the brain and heart are connected on a deeper level. Perhaps they are even mirrors of each other. Twins working independently and simultaneously. But in the end, which is which? Do they influence each other?
I came across another term in my research: Bodhicitta. This is part of Buddhism. It is a term denoting an awakening of the mind that unites compassion and wisdom (the heart and the mind). It basically refers to the idea of enlightenment whereby you see your connection to the universe and all beings and let go of the sense of self and ego. I especially liked the idea that a person can still follow his or her vocation as long as he or she is motivated to help others in the process.
Some other interesting words to note: “Kokoro,” is a Japanese word referring to the heart AND mind. The Chinese word would be “xin.” Imagine if we all used our collective “heart mind,” which is essentially one in the same!
So getting back to the painting, I wanted to convey the idea of the heart and mind connection. I wondered what would happen if I painted a heart where the brain (or head) would be and a brain where the heart would be. I made the heart purple with gold light reflections because the crown chakra is represented by these colors. I made the brain green with pink arteries because the heart chakra is represented by these colors. I decided the heart should resemble the brain and vise versa.
How will you use your “heart mind” to help the world today?