the original brainchild?

one of the ongoing themes in this project was to try and find other references or versions of the brainchild concept within art and culture. all the versions i came across have been tagged ‘relatives’ and can be found here [link]

well, a couple of days ago somebody left a comment on the blog shedding further light on a previous find and providing new information. this is a screenshot of the comment…


you saw who wrote that, right? alex grey.

and not just any randomer called alex grey – but this alex grey!

let me start by saying:

HOLY SHITBALLS!! alex grey just commented on my blog!

fanboy moment over, lets now have a look at this piece he refers to…

Alex_Grey-Skullfetus skull fetus – alex grey – 1979 [link]

i had previously referenced his 2002 painting ‘interbeing’ [link], which is clearly the exact same concept. however, this B&W drawing made 23 years previously. i find it fascinating that artists have reoccurring themes in their work over such large spans of time.

so this now stands as the earliest version of the brainchild concept i know of, wherein a foetus is present in the place of a brain.

on a personal note, it is rather exciting to think that such a renowned artist has read my research (and seen the work I created as a result) enough to make such a relevant comment. genuinely inspiring!


cerebri anatome

in 1664, thomas willis published a book titled cerebri anatome.

this is commonly translated as ‘anatomy of the brain & nerves’. 

this text was considered groundbreaking at the time, as he attempted to correlate brain anatomy with mental function. one passage stood out:

“within the womb of the brain, all the conceptions, ideas, forces and powers whatsoever – both of the rational and sensitive soul  – are formed.”

read more on thomas willis and cerebri anatome here