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					    Interfacing Anatomy and Art
    By Professor Paul McMenamin


                      When most people think of medical students               Now this type of body painting has extended
                      learning anatomy they probably have a vision of          beyond the walls of the medical school. ‘Anatomy
                      dreary eyed students hunched over thick textbooks        for Artists’, a series of classes run by Professor
                      and reams of anatomical minutiae learning thousands      McMenamin, started through the collaboration
                      of terms that no one else would ever care to know.       of Hans Arkeveld, artist in residence at the UWA
                      However, the world of science and medicine has           School of Anatomy & Human Biology, and Joanna
                      changed in the last 50 or so years and with it so        Robertson of Kidogo Arthouse in Fremantle. From
6                     have teaching methods. There has been a reduction        a single session on the musculoskeletal system the
                      in both didactic teaching and the expectation for        class has grown into a series of six classes in which
                      students to recall lots of unnecessary detail. Instead   artists interested in life drawing can participate in
                      more emphasis is placed on teaching students how         body painting on a life model.
                      to learn and how to solve problems. In response,
                      anatomy teachers worldwide have adapted by               Over the series of classes Professor McMenamin
     Professor Paul   developing other learning tools including the use        first of all teaches participants some of the skeletal
     G. McMenamin     of high quality multimedia and novel teaching            basis of human form (Fig 1) by allowing participants
     is Associate     innovations such as ‘body painting’.                     to paint the position of the major skeletal structures
     Dean (Teaching                                                            onto a model. Particular emphasis is paid to the
     & Learning),     Body painting can serve several functions in medical
     Faculty of       teaching including reinforcing surface anatomy by
     Medicine,        illustrating anatomical features on the body surface
     Dentistry        and how these relate to landmarks which a doctor
     & Health         must learn to palpate when examining a patient.
     Sciences and     It also aids students in building up a visual image
     School of        of underlying anatomy. At UWA in classes dealing
     Anatomy &        with the musculoskeletal system we have recently
     Human Biology,   introduced some body painting sessions into our
     the University   practical medical anatomy classes where students
     of Western       are actively encouraged to paint on one another.
     Australia        These sessions include hand painting, foot painting
     (UWA).           and face painting.
points where the skeleton lies close to the surface       However, schools of anatomy can be greatly
and can be felt and seen. We discuss joints and           enriched by having artists around not only to
their movement (shoulder, elbow, wrist, hip, knee,        help academics illustrate their own observations              Reference:
ankle, back) whilst participants actively paint the       or produce high quality teaching aids. Equally the            OP DEN AKKER
body. In the next 2-3 sessions the participants are       plethora of fascinating subject material makes                JW (2002)
introduced to the underlying basis for the contours,      anatomy schools fertile ground for artists to                 Giving color to a
ridges and visible features that one sees on a            work. If, as I have discussed above, we can use               new curriculum:
human life model. Understanding the definition            art, for example body painting, to make learning              bodypaint as a
lines is so critical to good life drawing. Professor      of clinically relevant anatomy more enjoyable for             tool in medical
McMenamin involves the participants in painting           medical students then those positive educational              education.
the major muscles not only in the correct positions       experiences in perhaps a small way may help                   Clinical Anatomy
but replicating the pattern of the underlying muscle      produce more rounded and knowledgeable                        15: 356-362.
fibres as closely as possible and in life-like colours    doctors of the future.
on the skin of both male and female models. This
really has the effect of bringing the muscles to ‘life’   Images:
. Whilst this is taking place the functions of these      Courtesy Professor Paul McMenamin + Kidogo Arthouse
major muscles are also discussed. Gradually the
model comes to look like a detailed reproduction
of the body minus skin and could be classified as
a living art form. In another session we focus on
the anatomy of the head (eyelids, nose, cheek,
mouth, ears) and the muscles of the neck which                                                                                                           7
is aimed to help participants in portrait work. The
last session is a reflective one where participants
are allowed to simply draw a life model and we
discuss how their knowledge of anatomy may have
helped them in their interpretation and therefore
representation of the amazing human form.

Anatomy and artists have had a long association at
UWA through well known local artist Hans Arkeveld
who has been working in the School of Anatomy &
Human Biology since 1968. His sculpting expertise
is used to create unique models and reproductions
of rare anatomical material such as hyoid bones,




                                                                                                                [You can view these articles online at
vertebrae, primate skulls and human ancestral




                                                                                                                www.artsourcve.net.au/newsletter]
skulls. Hans also assists in formal teaching sessions
by sharing his love of drawing and showing students
the value of drawing as a method of making and
recording accurate observations. The school many
years ago had a dedicated medical illustrator but
with changes in technology that style of illustrative
work has become less necessary.
                                                                                                                                               introduction of numerous objects
                                                                                                                                               of art in every conceivable
                                                                                                                                               location, his own as well as those
                                                                                                                                               by many other artists such as
                                                                                                                                               Jon Tarry who also worked at
                                                                                                                                               the School, he has worked a
                                                                                                                                               particular magic over its physical
                                                                                                                                               and psychological spaces.




                                                                                           Artist: Hans Arkeveld, Anatomy Lesson of Dr Holst
                                                                                                                                               “Hans has altered our awareness
                                                                                                                                               of ourselves. His being here has
                                                                                                                                               made a difference to us. He makes
                                                                                                                                               us feel good about ourselves, what
                                                                                                                                               we do and how
                                                                                                                                               we do it.” 1
                                                                                                                                               One Head of School has referred
                                                                                                                                               to Hans’ regular interaction as ‘an
                                                                                                                                               extensive symbiotic relationship
                                                                                                                                               that has integrated art into the
                                                                                                                                               everyday life of this Department’. 2

8                                                                                                                                              This empathy between art and
                                                                                                                                               science has also enabled a group
                                                                                                                                               known as SymbioticA 3 to
                                                                                                                                               become established within the
                        Hans’ room on the first floor           the specimens in the laboratory                                                School.
                        of the School of Anatomy and            jars and on the dissecting tables.
                        Human Biology could, at first
                        glance, be mistaken for a Shrine        Since 1968 Hans has been                                                       1
                                                                                                                                                 Dr Jan Meyer interviewed by Robyn
                        to Saint Sulo. But venture past the     drawing from the body in the                                                   Taylor, 14 April 2004.
                        bear peering through the door           School of Anatomy and Human                                                    2
                                                                                                                                                 Letter of recommendation for Hans
                        with its computer disk eyes and         Biology. His involvement with                                                  to be awarded the University’s highest
                        departmental work is being done         this department has been truly                                                 degree, the Chancellor’s Medal. Dated
                        amongst the magpie collection           remarkable and owes much to                                                    20 April 2000
                        of ephemera. The apparent               the open mindedness of the then                                                3
                                                                                                                                                 See page 10 of this newsletter
    Excerpts from the   incongruity of this artist’s studio     Head of Department Professor
    catalogue essay     cum technician’s laboratory             David Allbrook who encouraged                                                  Transient is a touring exhibition
    by Dr Robyn         reflects a very important aspect        art students and had set up a                                                  supported by Art on the Move and
    Taylor, Transient   of the School’s philosophy. This        series of lectures looking at the                                              will be showing in:
    1963–2004,          is the need to keep medical             interconnections between art                                                   Esperance 20 Aug – 20 Sept 2006;
    a retrospective     science within the social context       and science.                                                                   Busselton 29 Sept – 29 Oct 2006;
    exhibition of the   of life in all its complexity: to not                                                                                  Albany 3 – 30 May 2007.
    work of Hans        forget that conscious life and          Hans has effectively infiltrated                                               For more info see:
    Arkeveld.           thought once animated many of           the place and through the                                                      www.artonthemove.com.au
What is SymbioticA?

Although artists have been working        Intriguing projects resulting from inter-disciplinary approaches
with the Department for the last          between art and science are bubbling here and across the
three decades, until recently, none       globe. Take a look at some, profiled by the following:
actually used the laboratories to
produce their art work.                   Artists in Labs (AIL) [www.artistsinlabs.ch] offers
                                          Swiss laboratories as a place of liaison between artists
SymbioticA is a research laboratory       and scientists in order to create new levels of creativity,
dedicated to the artistic exploration     innovation and communication. AIL supports collaborations
of scientific knowledge, in particular    between international Artists and Swiss-based scientists,
biological technologies. SymbioticA       and encourages trans-disciplinary groups with solid project
is the first research laboratory of       ideas; e.g. Z-NODE, a PHD program, in corporation with the
its kind, in that it enables artists to   University of Plymouth, (art, technology and science) with 14
engage in wet biology practices in a      researchers enrolled.
biological science department.
                                          The Arts Catalyst, UK, [www.artscatalyst.org]
SymbioticA is designed as an evolving     believes that a repositioning of different specialised areas of
place of artistic investigation that      investigation is necessary for an innovative, outward-looking
is accessible to people throughout        and ethical society. They foster collaboration between                9
Western Australia and beyond.             scientists and artists and seek scientists’ involvement in artistic
SymbioticA welcomes artists and           and interdisciplinary projects.
scholars to work in interdisciplinary
research    teams   exploring    new      Art & Science Collaborations (ASCI), USA
directions for new technologies and       [www.asci.org] profiles artists and scientists who use science
the effects on society they might         and technology to explore new forms of creative expression.
have.                                     Their ArtSci INDEX, an online database, connects biologists,
                                          technologists, mathematical physicists, psychologists and
SymbioticA are happy to discuss           playwrights, visual artists, dancers, and musicians for projects
different models of residencies and       of mutual interest. are using this service [http://asci.org/
seek expressions of interest from         INDEX/].
artists interested in exploring art
and science in general and art and
biology in particular.
                                          For more links to informative sites see “Resources” at
                                          www.artsource.net.au/membersservices

www.symbiotica.uwa.edu.au
     Inspired by the immortal words of Hippocrates “life
     is short; art is long”, the Royal Australian College of
     General Practitioners (RACGP) has been presenting
     an exclusive series of workshops for GPs.
     Before entering a computer lab to learn about a
     specific aspect of evidence based medicine, GPs enjoy       Lillian Tan from the RACGP                   linking art of medicine to the
     a glass of wine and listen to an artist talking about          told us about the talks:                  science of medicine?
     their work.                                                                                              We wanted to introduce the
     Artists participating: Jon Denaro, Andrew Stumpfel,                                                      concept of medicine-inspired art to
     Sandra Black, Peter Kendall, Julie Parsons, Kat Cook                                                     the GPs subtly so they can begin to
     and Jasper Black.                                                                                        see beauty in the work they do.We
                                                               You have developed an interesting              also wanted them to view medicine
                                                               line-up of artist talks for the                from another perspective i.e. that
                                                               RACGP - what was your motivation               of the artists.
                                                               for this?
                                                               [Lillian Tan] The main aim of the              How has artsource helped you in
                                                               Art Series is to up skill GPs in               this program?
                                                               the application of evidence based              artsource has been a tremendous
                                                               medicine by subliminally linking the           help to us - they help put together
                                                               art of medicine to the science of              the artists for each of the sessions
                                                               medicine. However, we would also               by helping us source the most
10                                                             like to highlight that for centuries,          appropriate artists and also
                                                               artists have drawn inspiration from            establishing contact with them.
      Dr Andrew Wesseldine presented in tandem                 medicine. We invited WA-based
      with Andrew Stumpfel:                                    artists to present on how they                 What has been the response from
                                                               draw inspiration from medicine for             the GPs?
      “I was most impressed by Andrew and his take on          their projects. Each session has a             All the attending GPs think that
      the theme of “Brain storm”. I was surprised that         clinical theme and we wanted to                the Art Series is a very innovative
      we, as artist and physician, share so many similar       find artists who have an interest              program and they are really gaining
      challenges each day and was fascinated by his            in those particular areas. e.g. Jon            a good insight into the planning and
      approach to complex problems especially in the           Denaro for ‘Smoke and Fire’. That              workings of the artists.
      group setting. I was able to gain an insight into how    particular session was looking at
      he sees the world as well, and this was particularly     smoking cessation and Jon seemed               Would you do it again?
      interesting for me in that thinking “outside the         an appropriate choice as he is                 Yes! We would definitely run this
      square” is what we try to do more of and what we         interested in cilia/trachea.                   again but with different themes.
      are generally not trained well as doctors to do.         What do you mean by subliminally

      I found Andrew’s talk both uplifting and stimulating,
      and we hope to incorporate his ideas and visions
      into some of the fund-raising and educational
      projects that we run in the RPH Stroke Unit. I            The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners is the largest general practitioner
      certainly thought the concept of the evening was          organisation in Australia, with over 14,000 members. The RACGP is the national leader
      worthwhile and the most novel I have ever been            in setting and maintaining the standards for quality practice, education and research in
      involved in.”                                             Australian general practice.

				
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