World's Weirdest Medical Museum Inspires Bizarre Anatomical Art Show
Anatomical art by the figurative painter Geoffrey Harrison will be displayed this August at Barts Pathology Museum, along with the medical specimens that inspired his work. The Museum, which is part of Queen Mary, University of London will be open to the public from 6pm on Thursday 15 August for the launch of an exhibition showcasing Harrison’s work as Artist-in-Residence from 2012-13. Doors will open at 6pm for drinks and browsing.
The exhibition titled, "Me. complete. you" runs from 15 – 29 August at the West Smithfield museum. Hidden within the grounds of St Bartholomew’s Hospital, the Victorian building recently appeared as the only UK entry in CNN's list of the World's Weirdest Medical Museums.
The show features around 25 paintings inspired by the museum’s collection of 5,000 preserved 18th-to-20th century anatomical specimens, focusing on the heart, brain, hands, feet and tongue.The artist is the son of medical illustrators. He says: “My childhood was spent surrounded by medical imagery. The subjects of death, life, flesh and mortality have always provided a strong current in my work. My representation of anatomical matter, the human body and its parts often references medical illustrative technique and vocabulary.
“My work uses the power of the visual metaphor to suggest ideas beyond the image. Painted brains and hearts come to represent the tensions between emotion and pragmatism, while other symbols also emerge; stigmata and crucifixes, for example, suggesting themes of love, sacrifice, faith and humanity.”
Barts Pathology Museum will be open daily between 2-6pm weekdays during the exhibition. If you would like an out-of-hours appointment, please contact the artist directly via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Geoffrey Harrison is originally from Manchester. After completing an undergraduate degree in Fine Art Printmaking at the School of Fine Art in Hull, he lived in Japan for several years. He returned to the UK to complete an MA in London and now lives and works in the city.
His practice is often collaborative and in partnership with other organisations and includes teaching, workshops and seminars and curating work by other artists. His work has been exhibited in Japan and the UK in various group and solo shows and is in private collections nationally and worldwide.
He recently led a workshop at the Museum of London’s major exhibition, Doctors, Dissection and Resurrection Men, and in April 2013 presented at a Royal College of Art seminar on cross-disciplinary approaches toward studying the body. He is currently working with the Royal Veterinary College on an application for residency in late 2013.
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