Exploring the ‘Cerebral Wilderness’

Artist Talk: Jeff Leake and Kindra Crick along with NW Noggin – Exploring the ‘Cerebral Wilderness’
When: Saturday, December 10th, 7:00 – 8:30pm
Where: Gallery 114, 1100 NW Glisan St, Portland, Oregon 97209 (map)

In addition to talking about their artwork and influences, NW Noggin neuroscientists will be there with human brains to examine.


Since November 2015, the artists Jeff Leake and Kindra Crick have been working together with NW Noggin, this Pacific Northwest neuroscience outreach group that seeks to spark a lifelong interest in science and art. In Cerebral Wilderness, they examine memory, place and its impact on one’s inner and outer identity. While Leake looks outward toward the horizon, depicting remembered and invented landscapes, Crick’s work turns inward by magnifying and re-imagining the hidden molecular structures of the mind in both painting and in an immersive installation piece.

Crick’s full-room installation titled, ‘Your Joys, Sorrow, Memory and Ambition’ consists of over 3000 feet of hand-woven magnet wire with netting-wrapped tendrils of lit cables – an imagining of the microscopic elements that might preserve or disrupt the core of our memories and our essential sense of self. In this piece she draws on memory and addiction research on the perineuronal nets surrounding neurons done by neuroscientist Dr. John Harkness from Dr. Barbara Sorg’s Neuroscience lab at Washington State University Vancouver. During the fall of 2015, Crick was paired with Dr. Harkness as part of a collaboration through NW Noggin (now a tax-exempt nonprofit).

This installation has been shown in Washington D.C. and presented accompanying a lecture at the Portland Art Museum. It has also been featured in the November 2016 issue of ‘Interalia Magazine‘ and October 2016 issue of ‘SciArt in America‘.

Your Joys, Sorrow, Memory and Ambition by Kindra Crick

‘Your Joys, Sorrow, Memory and Ambition’ magnet wire, LEDs, netted fabric, split cables, and video with music by Katie Griesar, art installation by Kindra Crick

Neuroscience-inspired art installation by Kindra Crick

In addition to the installation, Crick created five new paintings, making use of a chalkboard surface with written and erased notations about the nature of memory and perception.  Crick’s artwork offers a delicate balance between the tension of impermanence and change and current research on the nature of our mind in the burgeoning field of neuroscience.

Leake’s paintings explore how we create cultural identity through narrative and allegory. In the tradition of fabulists such as Aesop and Jean de La Fontaine this current work uses animal imagery, and the remembered sense of the Pacific Northwest  to explore the role of memory in the creation of these inner landscapes, and the very human drive to create stories from our own experiences and ideals. Leake currently works with Neuroscience faculty at Washington State University Vancouver and Portland State University to teach art and neuroscience there and around the Portland area.


‘Columbian Treasure’ oil and acrylic on panel, 48 x 24 inches, by Jeff Leake

You are warmly invited to the artist talk to enjoy artwork, real brains, great company and immerse yourself in the cerebral wilderness!

A studio visit with Jeff Leake and Kindra Crick speaking about their work


The ‘Cerebral Wilderness‘ exhibition at Gallery 114 (Portland, OR) runs until December 30th.




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