Portrait of a Brain is a sculptural representation of a ‘spikey’ Neurodiverse cognitive human profile. Its colour and light describe the glory of individual, intersecting strengths and challenges in brain workings of a (particular) autistic woman. Making no reference to corporeality, it celebrates and invites curiosity at the necessity of human individuality of thought and reason. The work is commemorative, too, since the subject ended her own life; as do disproportionately high numbers of Neurodivergent people.
Each person’s cognitive profile is unique to them, with the 20% of the population who are Neurodivergent typified by a so-called ‘spikey’ profile of abilities, in comparison to the more regular distribution of cognitive skill set in others. For this work, cognitive traits are mapped via a simple – scientifically validated – five-minute questionnaire. The shapes that form from the collected data overlap, creating a kaleidoscope of colour as they move adjacent to each other. This data mapping then translates into a bright, colourful, and arresting ‘chandelier’-like installation.