Elizabeth Jameson is an artist who specializes in the intersection of art and science. She transforms her brain scans, particularly MRIs, into provocative images that challenge how society views the brain, and illness. Since her diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis, she has continually undergone brain scans to track the progression of her disease. Initially the sterile black and white images of the MRIs of her brain were terrifying – she refused to look at them. She began using art to reinterpret these images. Her work invites people to discuss what it means to live in an imperfect body, and to stare directly at the beauty and complexity of the imperfect brain with curiosity.
Jameson graduated from Stanford University with a BA in 1973, and received a law degree from Boalt Hall School of Law in 1976. She was a public interest lawyer for 20 years. Her professional and personal life changed profoundly when she was diagnosed with progressive MS. Brain scans became a major part of the artist’s life after her diagnosis.
As her disease has progressed, her practice has evolved. She used to engage in traditional art practice; now she uses storytelling, technology, and design to focus on expanding the narrative of illness. She is currently working on untapped potential of time spent in waiting rooms of clinics, using portraiture, interactive art, and collecting stories to broaden and deepen the narrative around illness.
Jameson’s work is shown internationally. Her work is in permanent collections of the National Institute of Health (NIH); Stanford University, Yale University, Center for Brain Science at Harvard University, Brigham Li Ka Shing Center for Biomedical and Health Services at the University of California, Berkeley, Johns Hopkins University, the Center for Art and Brain at the University of California, Davis, The Annals of Neuroscience in Chandigarh, India, and the Basque Neuroscience Institute in San Sebastian, Spain.
Due to the ever-changing and progressive nature of life with MS, Jameson has worked with several studio assistants over the years. Currently she collaborates with artist Catherine Monahon, who has contributed her skills in communications, project management, and mixed media.