Sketching Below the Skin
Draw Human Anatomy at the Exploratorium on June 25
by Jackie Clay • June 25, 2015
Too often when we are asked to describe ourselves we go only two millimeters deep. We consider our skin, our hair, our eyes. If we are tall or short. What falls within or proudly outside what is normative. Very rarely do we consider our internal selves, not just in intangible ways like personality or character, but also in physical ways like our bones, organs, and all that connects them.
Artist and teacher Laura Ferguson leads a medical illustration class that does just this, using drawing as a way of knowing and learning the human body. She and her students profess this practice is less about the end result and more about looking at and learning anatomy in a different, slightly more intimate way.
Please note that some images in this video may be unsuitable for all ages. Viewer discretion is advised.
Staring at a cadaver may be startling at first, but Ferguson challenges us to give it a chance. “You have to recognize that they don’t look that beautiful at first glance, to treat it mildly,” she says. “But the structures are actually incredibly beautiful.”
On Thursday, June 25, the Exploratorium is hosting a similar, single evening salon called Human Anatomy Drawing Night. Although the museum will not have a cadaver present, the event will have bones, a heart, brain, as well as other organs. Exploratorium Program Curator Stephanie Stewart Bailey worked with Daly Ralston Resource Center at University of California San Francisco and local medical illustrator Julia Stack to create the event. Bailey is also "Chief Disector" at The Body Appropriate.
Tonight’s event is open to beginning and seasoned artists alike. We’re providing the (human) pieces, paper, pencils and expertise. Capacity is limited for this event, but the entire museum will be open for folks to enjoy.