The multidisciplinary work began as a private meditation on the loss of Humphrey’s husband and grew into communal art making with deep and surprising connections between the neuroscience of emotions and the lost 19th century craft of ritualistic, intricate Victorian mourning braiding. These objects were created to honor and remember loved ones, acknowledging the depth of loss, and transforming grief into something that was beautiful.

Humphrey’s artist residency at the Joseph LeDoux neuroscience lab at NYU provides a unique perspective on the neuroscientific process of mourning through examination of  the internal biological workings of the amygdala, the powerhouse of human emotion.  Filmic simulations, drawings made from microscopic brain studies and aural recordings are overlaid throughout the work.

Circling the Center is a visceral liturgy of sound, film, and performance, weaving images of brain circuitry and Victorian mourning rituals with sounds of serenading lab rats, and chanted braiding patterns.  A woman weaves shimmering red wire, a choir sings a lament in this expansive synthesis of science, art, and emotion. The project exists as installation, performance and film.


October 13 — 15, 2016  |  3LD Art & Technology Center, Performance, NY

February 1st, 2015  |  Studio Workshop Performance, Brooklyn, NY


September 20 - December 14, 2014  |  BRIC Biennial, Installation & Performance, Brooklyn, NY

If you were to peer into the mourner’s skull, 2014
Circling the Center Series

Site specific Installation and consecutive Sunday Performances
Bric Downtown Biennial, BRIC House Gallery, NY 2014
Mixed Media, 2 Performers, video, text by Tom Sleigh, Variable dimensions

See the Full Performance


May 1st, 2013   |   Workshop Performance: Dixon Place Theater, New York, NY


May 2011   |  Workshop Performance: Kentler International Drawing Space, Brooklyn, NY

documentation of the full performance:   


June 21–October 2, 2011   |   Lament Video Installation: Frost Octagon Video Gallery, McNay Art Museum, San Antonio, TX

                               Lament is the first of multiple single channel videos in the Circling the Center Project 


January, 2010   |   Development Residency  Installation & Performance: Sharidan Gallery, University of Pennsylvania, Kutztown, PA

documentation of the full performance:  


November 2009   |   Development Residency/Exhibition/Performance: Pinnacle Gallery, Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah, GA