I’m happy to be back up in Scotland! I am teaching some life drawing classes with the students on the Medical Art program at CAHID, University of Dundee, and once again I am taking advantage of the wonderful opportunity to make some of my own work in the dissecting lab and the morgue. It’s good to be back – I always receive a warm welcome from the folk at CAHID and although I am still working hard up here the different focus I think is good for me.
I have spent the last few intensive months completing the work for the Breast Cancer: a creative intervention exhibition (details here Drawing Women’s Cancer) It has been wonderful to work on the project, and it is creating a lot of interest which I will continue to foster beyond the show itself. In the meantime I am looking forward to the opening on November 8th.
Back now to the present I have just spent a fascinating day in the lab working on ink drawings of an opened chest. It is a still a slightly strange feeling to come out into the sunshine (yes, I am in Scotland!) after hours poring over a cadaver but I think that is healthy. I would definitely worry about myself if I ever became ‘used’ to it. My approach to my work is from an autoethnogaphic perspective and it is therefore a wonderful creative challenge to be in such a scientific environment and it suits me well. For me, the juxtaposition of working with the living, as I do in my other projects in medicine, and working with the dead, as I do at CAHID, only deepens my conviction that the relationship between art and science with respect to the ‘human condition’ overall is profound and it is one I intend to continue exploring and articulating through my work.
Sadly Scottish law does not permit me to publish any of the drawings I make at CAHID here. All the work I do however will inform a major body of work based on anatomy that I am steadily preparing back at my studio. One of the pieces is a 2.5m long oil painting based on the historical practice of anatomical dissection. It is still very much a work in progress and the image here is a small detail.