Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Taking embellishment one step too far

The great thing about working n London is that there is always something you can do in the evening after work. Yesterday I went to the Wellcome Trust building on Euston Road just down from my hotel. You may know the name as a medical institution but they also have three galleries with displays linking medicine and art. One was a sample of the many many vaugely medically related things Henry ( I think that's his name!) Wellcome collected, from torture chairs to Japanese sex aids, to anatomical models to glass medicine bottles. Another is about the heart with everything from Egyptian papyrus pictured of the heart to a pickled human heart removed in a transplant operation. There is even a film made of a heart operation very bizzarely narrated with a voice over of a Billy Graham sermon. The third related to five aspects of medicnine today. That included obsesity which promtly made m walk very briskly to buy M&S blueberries for my supper!

Of course, I am now well trained in using displays like this for quilting inspiration but what I learned most from this trip is that you can take embellishment too far. Three things I saw were:

1. Pictures of the heart drawn by a psychiatric patient in Germany who used to stick pencils up his nose until it bled then used the blood as ink. ( He drew well though!)

2. A chinese shop sign from which hung a kind of beaded curtain made of human teeth.

3. Tables with human sillhouettes on them. Turns out they were made by removing all the veins and arteries in a human body, laying them out in their right places on a block of wood then varnishing them down.

Members of my twelve my twelve group should be very grateful that it is a long time until I have to set a challenge theme and so there is a good chance I will have forgotton these influences by then!

1 comment:

Kristin L said...


But intriguing nonethless.