All photos thanks to Art Macabre’s Linsay Trerise and Nikki Shaill. All rights reserved Art Macabre 2013 (c) On a rainy Saturday afternoon, Art Macabre took shelter inside the glass-roofed Barts Pathology Museum, one of London’s hidden treasures, within the Grade II listed hospital building for our Death Drawing salon. A rare, fascinating collection of over 5000 medical specimens displayed in pathological ‘pots’. Purpose built in 1879, it spans three mezzanine levels and includes specimens relating to all areas of anatomy and physiology, including the skull of John Bellingham – the only person to assassinate a British Prime Minister.
Amongst this grand, truly breathtaking setting we presented the living next to the dead. Plus there was Geoffrey Harrison’s artwork from his 6 month museum residency to inspire us. The 3 hours of drawing the specimens and the models flew by! Our models, both new to Art Macabre, are true professionals when it comes to holding an interesting pose. 60 eager sketchers relished the opportunity to draw the twisted, contorted and strong angles they created and held admirably. The strikingly white-haired Alex B requested we play Smashing Pumpkins (one of her favourite bands) throughout the first half of her modelling, so we happily obliged. She posed holding a golden skull, bodypainted by Nikki Shaill as an Anatomical Venus, alongside a skeleton and anatomical model torso. Alex B’s own blog post recounts the experience from perspective. Steve Ritter was once again skull-faced and skeletal, alongside the real life skeletons amongst the museum’s collection. This included conjoined twin skeletons and many laughs ensued as I gave the drawing challenge to everyone to try some ‘conjoined arm’ drawing. The results were surprisingly successful! There were Bloody Maries to be drunk, thanks to the artist-in-residence Geoffrey Harrison. Suitably oozy, gorey looking sweet treats were provided in the break from the newly launched Poppy’s Picnics. Eton mess, raspberry and cream topped scones, plus yummy raspberry blinis that looked like roe.
All photos thanks to Art Macabre’s Linsay Trerise and Nikki Shaill. All rights reserved Art Macabre 2013 (c). Thanks to Barts Pathology Museum and Carla Valentine for having us. We hope to return again soon….
Photos: Art Macabre 2013, taken by Linsay Trerise and Nikki Shaill at Barts Pathology Museum. All rights reserved. No republication without written permission of Art Macabre (c) Artwork (c) artists’ own.
For opening hours and other events at Barts Pathology Museum see their blog here.