Object of the month: An anatomical demonstration

Look what I found on the Wellcome Website…

Wellcome Collection Blog

As part of our curious journey, Medicine Man will be closing on 21 July, to return in spring 2014. Before we begin packing things away, Muriel Bailly sneaks in a second object for this month and takes a look at the gruesome context of one small carving in the collection.

This 18th-century wood and ivory anatomical model takes its inspiration from a 16th-century painting you may be familiar with: The Anatomy Lesson of Doctor Nicolaes Tulp by Rembrandt. The painting shows Dr Tulp explaining the musculature of the arm to medical professionals and was commissioned to Rembrandt by Tulp himself as a social group portrait, which were very popular at the time. The event can be accurately dated to 16 June 1632, and the body Dr Tulp is dissecting is that of convicted criminal Aris Kindt. Indeed, at that time, dissection was considered so offensive towards the dead that it…

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Project Anatome – Rachael Allen

Project Anatome - Rachael Allen

Rachael Allen is an artist in residence in the anatomy labs at Newcastle, Northumbria and Durham Universities.

Her work with MEDinART can be found here: http://www.medinart.eu/project-anatome/

Her website link is: http://www.rachaelallen.com/

This is really exciting work and totally up my street!

The Jackdaw – by Fiona Campbell

I found this stop-motion animation video clip on Rachel Poliquin’s fantastic website ‘Ravishing Beasts’

Her book ‘The Breathless Zoo: Taxidermy and the Cultures of Longing’ is also an excellent read.
The only people who perform human taxidermy as far as I can see are anatomists. The only anatomists to display human bodies as we have been accustomed to seeing animals is Gunther von Hagens in his Body Worlds exhibition using a technique called ‘plastination.’


Beauty In Death

As I’m just getting the hang of this blogging business I’ve stumbled on so many great creative people who are blogging and sharing that creative energy.

This image by Rosie Scribblah struck me as being particularly beautiful.


19 dead crow

Husb and I went to the Mission Gallery’s new show opening tonight and nearly fell over with the heatwave after about 10 minutes so we left and strolled along the seafront on our way home and came across this dead bird. It’s some sort of crow and was fairly recently dead as only a couple of flies had found it. Such a beautiful creature, black and glossy and at repose. Then as we arrived home, some friends arrived and stayed for some ice cold home-made elderflower cordial. It’s so refreshing in this weather. Our friends asked if we’d taken a photo of the bird.

“Ew no!” I said, “that would be weird!”

“And standing around for 10 minutes in public drawing a little corpse isn’t?” they asked.

Hmm. Fair comment. Drawn into my A5 cloth-bound sketchbook, prepared with ripped brown wrapping paper, with Faber Castell Pitt pens, sizes S, F…

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Doctors as Writers

The title of my blog ‘Chekhov was a doctor’ was taken from something the writer William Fiennes said to me on an Arvon writing course. I had just started to write really and this week was the first creative writing course I’d been on. William Fiennes and Mark Haddon were the tutors and I totally lucked out getting a place. There is nothing like reading aloud your own writing to get the nerves flying but it was one of the most inspiring weeks I’ve ever experienced. After a tutorial with William Fiennes I said, “So I shouldn’t give up the day job just yet”  (I work as a GP) and he said to me “Well Chekhov was a doctor.”

I’ll never forget that moment of encouragement and here is the blog that sparked off from that comment. I was amazed when I realised how many famous authors were also doctors and I wish I could have made this lecture in Edinburgh last year, but I’m sure there will be many more.

Centre for Medical Humanities Blog

Edinburgh University Medical Humanities Research Network presents:
Doctors as Writers
Panel discussion
Wednesday 14th November 6 – 7.45 pm
Followed by a wine reception
Teviot Lecture Theatre, Old Medical School, Doorway 5

There is a long tradition of doctor-writers throughout history, most  notably from the eighteenth century onwards, but going as far back as antiquity. From Keats to Smollett, from Chekhov to Conan Doyle, physicians have written about the great dramas of human life and existence. From their unique insight into life and death situations, doctors have created some of the most fascinating stories and characters in literature.
Dr Iain McClure, consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist for the NHS and playwright for the BBC; Dr Gavin Francis, local Edinburgh GP and travel writer; Dr Peter Dorward, local Edinburgh GP, university lecturer and award-winning short fiction writer will form a panel discussing the ways in which being a doctor helps them…

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Son of Icarus

Son of Icarus

Earl knew he had one on Icarus; his batwings were coated with Asbestos.

“When I jump from that plane I’ll damn well fly,” he wheezed.

Image from The Retronaut website:


Twitter Fiction: Copyright 2013 Eliot North


Anyone wanting inspiration should definitely check out The Retronaut website and connect on twitter. I feel many more Twitter Fiction stories brewing from some of the amazing photographic archives they have (time capsules in retronaut speak)