Open Door Arts - An Affiliate of Seven Hills Foundation

Introduction

Bethany Noël Murray “Brains are Cool”

Bethany Noël Murray “Brains are Cool”

Bethany Noël Murray: "Brains are Cool, Even When They Hurt" 
September 17, 2019-December 12, 2019
Opening Reception: September 26, 5 - 7 pm

From the Artist

I have had chronic migraines for over twenty years of my life. I began making paintings to show the incredible beauty that accompanies this strange neurological condition, as I have always been fascinated at the neurobiology behind the imagery I see. One of my daily symptoms is an ocular disturbance called ‘aura’. Superimposed in my vision is a shimmering wave of lights, colors, black holes, and other unsettling but beautiful neurological artifacts. My paintings have been proof to myself of what I experience during an attack, and despite the pain, I’ve made the choice to see the good, weird, and beautiful, and I hope my paintings help my viewers find bits of unexpected joy in the natural world.

I paint about the woods, as it has always been a refuge. I’m highly sensitive to light, so what would be painful in the city is beautiful when I’m hiking. On a forest trail, I experience a kaleidoscope of fracturing leaves, brush, and canopy that are gorgeous in their strange Alice-in-Wonderland glory, complete with heightened color and light. I experience the symptoms of macroscopia and microscopia and depict them in my work to give my audience the fascinating experience of these dissociating neurological effects without the pain. I work with white and black gesso, using the black of the canvas to be the darkness and shadow, and add the light in a swirling, patterning effect that mimics the aura I see all the time.

Learn more about Bethany at her website.

Fragmentation - Colors of greens, reds, yellows create the foliage of a fall tree while collapsing into the black canvas
"Fragmentation"
Painting with orange and black stripes oscillate into a galaxy structure with flecks of blue orbs
"Onobotulinum Toxin A"
Large, textured yellow and green orb with a black scratched center and flecks of teal in motion on a matte black canvas
"Morning Aura"
Hallelujah - Large, intricate painting with a warm sunbeam cascading through a forest field
"Hallelujah"
Witching Hour - Glowing forest of trees without foliage
"Witching Hour"
Heartbeat - Large zig-zagging green and yellow pattern on a field of white
"Heartbeat"
Autumn - Intricate bits of color and pattern reveal a fall forest
"Autumn"