The creator of the giant brain sculpture that recently graced the woods on Summers Lane in Finchley has taken her fascination with that part of the body to new artistic heights – and it has won her a place on the shortlist of the National Open Art Competition 2014 and a place in the accompanying exhibition at Somerset House.

Lady Michaelle St Vincent from Cockfosters, who paints under the name of LadyM, has made it through from the thousands of Europe-wide entries to the largest open art competition in the UK to the final shortlist of seven with her cold cast bronze sculpture, Sex on the Brain.

The 20cm x 15cm x 15cm wall-hung installation is slightly bigger than the average brain, and along one side the folds spell out the word sex, while on the other the folds reveal themselves to be, on closer inspection, figures engaged in sexual activity.

“Everything you could possibly imagine happening is happening in there,“ laughs the 51-year-old, who graduated from the Sir John Cass Faculty of Art, Architecture and Design at the London Metropolitan University with first class honours this year.

“At first it just looks like a brain but then you get closer and go ‘Ooh!’ It doesn’t really shock people, but it has got them talking.“

Visitors to the National Open exhibition are invited to vote for their favourite painting, sculpture or photograph in the viewer’s vote competition, and Michaelle is hoping her fellow Barnet residents will go along and support her.

The prestigious competition has in the past been won by the likes of British artist Gavin Turk, and just being in the running has already brought Michaelle benefits, with two galleries having expressed interest in representing her.

Whatever the outcome of the competition, she hopes her first collection, Pornucopia – Memoirs of a 1980s Nymphomaniac, of which Sex on the Brain is a part, will be exhibited in the spring of next year.

“Suddenly people want to see my work,“ she says. “A competition like this validates all the work I’ve been doing all these years. So I’m feeling quite good!“

  • Michaelle’s work will be on display in the National Open Art Competition Exhibition at Somerset House, The Strand, from Thursday, September 18 to Saturday, October 25, 10am to 6pm. Details: