Dedicated to Wendy...

She has to put up with the brain that produces stuff like this . . .

Adam J. Noice.


This is the story of the birth of the artwork “BURNOUT”.

As far as I recall it was the Tuesday before the end of August that ”The Question of Perception” was created. The original "BURNOUT" was conceived the next day and was finalised in its present state on in the first week of September 2002.

It is obviously going to be easier to follow the story if it starts at the beginning. Block A at the University Halls of Residence at Church Village, “Maes Eglwys”.

Ben was a bit of a crazy kid but he was sort of OK... He did however tend to be leading a lifestyle that did not tend to suggest that he was going to be in any fit state to be able to pass the course (was actually never sure what course he was doing) but “Hell” he was young, free, and was going to live life while he could.

Thinking about the way the he described his experiences with certain stimuli I was inspired to paint a piece which could most simply be described as an inverted brain shaped silhouette of a rainbow with a bright white tablet at the base of the brain stem.

The idea behind it was to show the void of reality compared to the potentiality of the brain. The addition of the pill at the bottom turns the brain into a question mark.

At the end of August 2002 I decided that I was going to attempt to recreate my original work but possibly in a slightly more clinical form. While trying to draw the brain outline I could not get it so I was happy with it.

On checking the web I found the following mage (Fig. 1.) which I admit I downloaded...

Fig 1. The Brain.

...(if I find the site again I will reference it here).

Conversion from “The Brain” to “A Question of Perception.”

The idea was then to convert the image of the brain to a reverse silhouette, which could be pasted over the rainbow using simple computer software. After playing with this idea for a while it was decided to leave the brain texture in and a rough colouring plan developed ( Fig.2. )

Fig. 2. Coloured Brain.

From this the image was stretched to fit approx. 8” x 10” canvas or board and a tablet added ( Fig. 3. ), this was then entitled “Enlightenment”.

Fig. 3. Enlightenment.

Looking at different possibilities with lighting I developed a series of five images and the idea of “ A Question of Perception” was born ( Fig. 4. )

Fig. 4. A Question of Perception.

Alternate Evolution.

Whilst studying “A Question of Perception” more closely I discovered what I believed looked like a foetal chick and on the back of this a fish. Saving the fish in the colour from “Enlightenment” ( Fig. 5a.) seemed the best option and ideas for its future development include colour inversion.

The foetal chick was saved from “ Development ” and converted to a stone colour and stretched to again fit approx. 8” x 10” canvas / board ( Fig. 5b. ). The name “Gargoyle” kind of suits it, and reminds me that I must get back to researching the Templars.

Fig. 5a. “Fish” and 5b. “Gargoyle.”

From this observation I noticed the correlation between the sizes of the brain compared to the bird and again to the fish and thought about the train of evolution – from fish through birds to mammals.

An idea which I may develop later to play with these images.


Having looked at the development it was time to look at future development. It appeared obvious that the brain would be attempting to achieve fulfilment but would need an increasing amount of stimulus. The resultant “Excesses” ( Fig . 6. ) would involve reduction of the power source.

Fig . 6. Excesses.

From this it appeared only natural for the amount of energy being transferred to produce heat – as well as the “burnout” to the brain ( Fig. 7. ) leaving us with “Burnout” which then naturally developed to “BURNOUT” ( Fig. 8. ).

Fig. 7. “Burnout (a).”

Fig. 8. “BURNOUT.”