Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Textile Anatomy

Where textile art meets human anatomy!

Shannell Papp, Lab (skeleton), detail
Shannell Papp, Lab (skeleton)

Canadian artist Shannell Papp created Lab (skeleton), a complete, full-scale crocheted model of the human skeleton and organs. She writes, "I was pretty serious about making a very exacting replica of the human body. There are parts of the work that nobody sees–the brain has gray and white matter, the bones have marrow, the stomach has half digested food in it. I made it to understand my body better and I think this is why people like it," in  this interview. She has also made other textile works, whether crochet or embroidered, about human anatomy.

Shannell Papp, Bonebook (detail)

Shannel Papp, Bonebook and Blood Pools
Another Canadian artist was working on knitted and embroidered works about human anatomy in the late 90s. Sarah Maloney made these beautiful embroideries and knitted sculptural and multimedia works.

Sarah Maloney,
Knitted Arms, Shoe Forms, Gloves, 1997,
variable dimensions, multimedia, Photo: Ned Pratt
Sarah Maloney, Brain, Knitted cotton, stainless steel armature
35.6 x 35.6 x 152.4 cm
1988-1989, Photo: Paul Litherland

Sarah Maloney, Skeletal System,
Embroidered cotton on silk
305 x 112cm
1998-99, Photo: Geoffrey Gammon
Sarah Maloney,
Vertebrae, Sacrum, Coccyx,
Knitted cotton, stainless steel armature
36x 36 x 189 cm,
1998-99, Photo: Geoffrey Gammon
Sarah Maloney,
Circulatory System
Embroidered cotton on silk
305 x 112cm,
1998-99, Photo: Geoffrey Gammon
Similarly, LA-based artist Ben Cuevas has produced a knit skeleton and various organs and blood vessels.
Ben Cuevas, knit skeleton

Ben Cuevas,
Knit Veins: Fiber of Our Being
Some fibre artists are creating anatomical works about anatomy on an entirely different scale. Consider the 'macro' work of New Mexico-based artist Betty Busby. (Do, check out her portfolio. I'm in love with her dinosaur skull quilts).

Betty Busby, Neurotic 36x42

Betty Busby, Purkinje 37x44"

Betty Busby, Retia 60x45
 The neurons might be something most can identify in 'Neurotic'. Likewise, Purkinje refers to a class of neurons located in the cerebellum. 'Retia mirabilia' are a complex of arteries and veins lying very close to each other, found in some vertebrates. Purkin

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