In 2014 I received a call from Perdita Sinclair an artist who was interested in understanding and depicting the human form in a fluid and emotional sense, rather than a strictly anatomical sense.
I had been interested to see how someone might visualise the work of a dissection and how this imagery might play out in an abstract form and having looked at Perdita’s work, her perspective seemed to fit in with the idea of creating a sensory view of a dissecting room.
Perdita then undertook two residencies where she furiously sketched and painted her way through the week. A complete new arrival to the world of the dissecting room, what was striking was that Perdita was working not just from the perspective of what she was seeing; the colours and textures on display throughout the week, but also from the sense of being utterly terrified and slightly queasy!
The initial sketches were raw and powerful and in some ways more visceral than the actual dissections themselves. What followed was the sensuous beauty of the human form, its fluid nature and endless curves and spirals, depicted in the flows and movements of jelly fish forms.
This idea of thinking of the human as a fluid form, strikes a powerful cord in me. I am always trying to move people away from linear thoughts when discussing anatomy or movement. Perdita’s incredible vision and enormous talent created to me, a perfect visual representation of form and function and I was blown away by what came out of her head after being in the lab.
The lines that so many people seek in fascia are so far removed from being straight that to see fluidity and circularity expressed, unprompted by someone who had never been in that environment, or studied any kind of anatomy before, seemed to validate and underpin my emphasis.
I am hoping to work with Perdita more in the future and to create a sensory anatomy work which will include the spoken word, music and soundscapes, alongside interviews with donors and donor families.
You can find more of Perdita’s work at her website, www.perditasinclair.com.