Artwork / Everything’s Fine / Threat Level Cupcake

inside of a brain under stress, with the hippocampus (seahorses) and the amygdala (almond and almond flower) represented since they’re the parts of a brain that make a person feel not quite safe, surrealist art by Gwenn Seemel
Gwenn Seemel
Threat Level Cupcake
2023
acrylic on panel
12 x 6 inches

This is a fanciful depiction of a brain under stress. The seahorses in the image represent the hippocampi, which is Latin for “seahorses” and which is also the name for the parts of our brain that are responsible for encoding the emotional context for our memories. The almond nut and almond flower symbolize the amygdalae, which is Latin for “almonds” and which is also the name for the parts of our brain that play a key role in processing our emotional responses, including anxiety.

Of all the paintings in this mental health series, Threat Level Cupcake is probably the weakest in terms of communicating an idea visually, sans text to explain the details—with Black-and-white Thinking coming a close second. Still, it’s important to me that at least one image in Everything’s Fine attempt to portray the physical source of so many of our mental health issues.

seahorse brain art
detail image