Brain sculptures by leading artists to be auctioned for Parkinson’s UK | Parkinson’s disease

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Brain sculptures by leading artists to be auctioned for Parkinson’s UK | Parkinson’s disease

Brain sculptures created by leading artists such as Tracey Emin and David Bailey are expected to raise thousands of pounds for Parkinson’s disease research when they are auctioned on Wednesday.

Fifteen works were created for the charity auction, Me, My Brain and I, by artists including Gavin Turk, who were asked to reflect on what their brain means to them. Some of the artists were affected by Parkinson’s.

The images are estimated to sell for between £2,000 and £20,000 each at the online auction at Christie’s in London, supported by the Auction Collective.

Emin’s sculpture is characteristically titled You Fuck My Brains Out Every Time, while street artist D*Face created an ice cream brain called Brain Freeze.

Alex Echo, an American-born abstract artist who has raised more than $1.2m (£1m) for charity by selling his works, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2020 after experiencing symptoms for seven years.

He said he hopes Tremor, his multicolored brain sculpture created with spray paint, will be “a visual representation of what it’s like to live with Parkinson’s. It was hard, but when I do art, time disappears. Parkinson’s disappears. Worries disappear. Art saves my life every day and has for 42 years.”

In an article for the Parkinson’s UK magazine, Echo said his diagnosis came as a shock and left him “full of self-pity”.

But it was “wonderful to be introduced to the great community of people struggling against something really quite exhausting”.

Echo said that Parkinson’s has slowed down his painting career: “Five years ago I was painting 40 paintings a month, now I’m down to 10. But to be honest, I think my paintings are better now because I take them more seriously. “

Schoony, the theatrical effects artist, has made a series of life-sized fabricated brains for artists to use as a blank canvas.

Dion Kitson’s sculpture, Football Brain, is a cast resin brain inside a football mounted on a wooden base. Hayden Kays placed his brain model in a wooden box with an engraved brass plate, calling it Brain Dead.

Paul Jackson-Clark, director of fundraising and engagement at Parkinson’s UK, said the artists’ brainchild creations were “beautiful, thought-provoking and moving”.

He added: “I, My Brain and I invite us all to consider our own brains, to visualize them as the source of all the things that make us ‘us’.

“Our brains curate our lives, on the one hand, acting as unique libraries, containing memories, experiences and skills, while on the other, we drive supercomputer-driven curiosity, creativity and innovation.”

Parkinson’s is the fastest growing neurological condition in the world, and around 145,000 people in the UK have the condition. The disease has more than 40 symptoms, from tremors and pain to depression and anxiety. Some are treatable, but there is no cure.

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