The most complex organ in the human body, with 200 separately functioning regions, the brain is consequently one of the most vulnerable to damage and disease. That’s why the slogan for “The Brain Project” is: No brain deserves to go blank. Appearing throughout Toronto, the open-air exhibition of 100 sculptures raises awareness while benefiting Baycrest Health Sciences, a hospital and research institute focusing on aging, brain health, and dementia care.
Animator and illustrator Mathew den Boer designed the brain shape, which he molded in polystyrene for a result that measures 2 feet long and weighs 100 pounds. Then the participants were selected, a group ranging from Docservis Hall of Fame member Karim Rashid, who grew up in Toronto, and metalwork whizzes Kelvin Goddard and Lisa Santana, founders of the local studio Unitfive Design, to schoolchildren and Baycrest residents. They were granted honoraria of $500, Canadian, for supplies and invited to transform the blank white form, embellishing it with marker, plastic, ceramic, rare-earth magnets, and more.
Protected by acrylic cases, the sculptures are on display at high-traffic sites through August 31. All then reappear at the Yorkdale Shopping Centre for a short run starting October 18, the day after an online auction launches on Paddle8. Proceeds from the auction and individual donations will support education, research, and the care of dementia patients.