Every first Friday in the month there is an Artist’s Day at Body Worlds. To gain access, one must apply by email with photograph samples of your work. Once accepted, I spent the day studying and drawing the human exhibits that have been carefully preserved, often with skin removed, displaying all the muscles, sinews and body parts of the human anatomy. The bodies are set in tableaux, where one can see how the muscles react under various circumstances, from simple running to other physical pursuits or to a pregnant woman with her five-month-old foetus in-situ.
Though often seemingly macabre, the nature of the preservation technique lends the bodies a plasticised look, enhanced I suspect by much red and orange colouring so that the layers can be viewed more clearly.
To me, some of the most interesting displays were found in the human reproduction area, with many preserved foetuses at various stages of development. The inexplicable luck we have to have been born at all and the fragility of life are evident here.
Once safely born there are no longer children featured. Adults, many appearing as if they might have been in the peak of health, expose details of the secrets of their bodies and mortality which is bleakly fascinating.
My day with these stripped-back bodies has given me an appreciation of the insight I might gain, were I to witness an actual autopsy.
At a quantum level, no part of the body lives apart from the rest. There are no wires holding together the molecules of your arteries, just as there are no visible connections binding the stars in a galaxy ...
Exhibit showing bones and blood vessels
Deepak Chopra Perfect Health
Pregnant woman with foetus
Drawings I made during my visit of the exhibits