Can Do Anything
Her father’s current endeavor into Cricklers doesn’t surprise daughter Kindra. “My dad has created computer puzzles and games for as long as I can remember,” she says. He created math and language puzzles for childhood treasure hunts and even posed puzzles on family hikes.
Kindra initially contemplated a career in physics or computer science. After her freshman year at Princeton, she lived with her grandparents in La Jolla, CA, and worked in a neurodevelopment laboratory at the Salk Institute. This influenced her to study molecular biology. Her grandmother, Odile Crick, was a figurative painter who nurtured Kindra’s artistic talent. “I’ve always done art, even while studying molecular biology,” says Kindra. Odile drew the illustration of the double helix for Watson and Crick’s historic paper on DNA in the April 25, 1953, issue of Nature.
Although Kindra enjoyed studying scientific concepts, she found laboratory benchwork tedious. “I’m a passionate person,” she says. So she redirected her passion to art, where she connects scientific perceptions with emotions. In her Ties series, she explores how the heart became a strong symbol for love, yet functions biologically and chemically apart from love. Paintings depict the human heart overlapping the chemical oxytocin or with a double helix passing over it while splitting and reproducing itself. “That’s a gorgeous image for continuing life,” she says.
After becoming a mother for the first time, Kindra delved into the overwhelming devotion a new mother feels toward her infant. She read about research suggesting that when a new mother looks at her smiling baby, a reward area of the brain is activated similar to narcotics. Her Mother series overlaps drawings of the brain with ones of a baby during different stages of pregnancy and after delivery. The Ann Loeb Bronfman Gallery in Washington, D.C. is exhibiting her latest show, Paradigm Shift: Bonds and Binds, from January 26 to April 24, 2011.
Do Michael or Kindra Crick ever regret leaving the biological sciences? “In our family, we were told that we can do anything we want and to follow our passions, even if that means going back to school,” says Kindra. She points out that her grandfather didn’t start graduate school in molecular biology until he was 33 years old, after making a switch from a career in physics.