Tag Archives: Art and Science


27 Aug

Susan Aldworth: The Portrait Anatomised (National Portrait Gallery)
Produced as part of a commission for Guy’s and St. Thomas’s Hospital in Westminster, the portraits by Susan Aldworth in this display depict three individuals with epilepsy. Expanding a notion of contemporary portraiture, the artist appropriates the illustrative vocabulary of medical science in her innovative printmaking process and in doing so asks how this material corresponds or contrasts with the subject’s sense of self.

I’m not a huge fan of print making, so I actually found the method and ideas whilst creating these portraits more interesting than the final pieces themselves. Perhaps because they were large pieces created quite quickly and perhaps because of the strong connection to health and science that runs through the process.
I feel like a great deal of thought and emotion went into these portraits (the artist has a strong connection to the theme), and I think that is probably why they are so successful.


EXHIBITION: Medicine Man and Medicine Now (Wellcome Collection)

23 Aug
  • ‘Medicine Now’ reflects the experiences and interests of scientists, doctors and patients since Henry Wellcome’s death in 1936.
  • The main topics examined are: the body, genomes, malaria, obesity and the experience of medicine.
  • Items exhibited include artistic responses to the issues presented.
  • My favourite works were by Irish/German artist MICHEAL HOPKINS. With white ink on slate Hopkins has created abstract x-ray compositions. The fact that they are slightly abstracted makes them really interesting for me because they look like they could be real x-rays but its uncertain what bones or creature they’re depicting.


  • SENSE was a sculpture by ANNIE CATTREL illustrating the activity patterns of the human brain as it responds to the five senses.


  • ‘Medicine Man’ is a vast stockpile of evidence about our universal interest in health and the body.
  • The objects exhibited are from Henry Wellcome’s own collection. They range from diagnostic dolls to Japanese sex aids, and from Napoleon’s toothbrush to George III’s hair.
  • It also provides and very different perspective on some of our own obsessions with medicine and health.
  • Some of the objects are examined by a variety of commentators from different backgrounds, to show that one object can mean many different things and tell many different stories.


  • The exhibition also contains real human remains, which I find cool and interesting to look at. I also like the display of past instruments used in operations and amputations.