December 1, 2021

I, Science

The science magazine of Imperial College

Greta Keenan reviews a life drawing event with a pathological twist.

6879441555_1195d3ac0e_oNot just your average life drawing class, this clever collaboration from Bart’s Pathology Museum and Art Macabre had me sipping ‘formaldehyde punch’ among jars of gruesome pathological specimens, whilst sketching skeletons and models alike.

The event kicked off with a talk from Professor Peter Vanezis, a leading forensic pathologist from the William Harvey Research Institute. He talked about the colours or “50 shades” of pathology; everything from blue bruises to pink cell stains and yellow jaundice skin, and how these colours can help identify cause and time of death. The rest of the evening was dedicated to drawing both life models and anatomical specimens around the room.

The models had been painted with organs, muscles, bruising and abstract pathological features, and posed with skeletons for a really striking contrast between life and death. For those of us more scientifically than artistically talented, this dynamic art class was the perfect introduction to life drawing, staying loosely within the comfort zone of science.

Bart’s Pathology Museum isn’t open to the public on a daily basis, making special evenings at this vibrant venue a real treat. The 50 Shades of Pathology event was the perfect example of how art and science can combine to produce the most memorable, show-stopping moments.  Keep up to date with the I, Science events webpage to get the latest offerings from Bart’s Pathology Museum and more.

Greta Keenan is studying for an MSc in Science Communication

Image: Life drawing, Joe Mazzone