Saturday, October 24, 2009

Developing a Backbone: Bones & Spine in Art and Craft; Breakables & Plush

Continuing with the current Anatomy in Art miniseries, this episode deals with something I wish I knew less about: The spine and bones in general.

An artist has his or her own motivation for each piece created. For some, the act of creating art is therapy. Unfortunately, we can't really go out and get Version Me 2.0, this time with the kinks worked out.

Artists, beaders and jewelry makers incorporate snake vertebrae into necklaces, pendants and earrings. Sometimes they're there as an artistic component in a piece that makes a statement about a health condition, health care, their organic value, in a memorial piece. Sometimes they're included for aesthetic reasons. 

You can find a vendors statement explaining how and where items items such as vertebrae, feathers, etc. came from before an artist/crafter makes a purchase. Maybe you'd prefer something simulated.

Here decided to focus on artworks where the bones are made out of a material that's fragile or breakable. Also included are works where the bones are soft or plush, some are crocheted for instance.

A piece by Siobhan M. Egan from eMotion Pictures: An Exhibition of Orthopedics in Art is a great place to start. “Doctors always described my discs to me as jelly doughnuts with the jelly coming out. The image always stuck in my head, so I decided to illustrate it in a photograph.” Seems like doctors like to use that metaphor.

Corbi Wall Decals Whale Bones in Antarctica
Peel and Stick Removable Graphic
Where you exercise, do yoga, physical therapy

"[Franklin] distorts glass into organic vessels, connecting forms into anatomical structures that echo the vertebrae, ribs and arterial vessels that line the lungs. Painting phosphorous on the interior of tubes and later filling them with neon or argon gas produces the subtle effect of overlapping and intermingling colors, which heightens the sense that light is an animate and fluid force within the sculptures." Art Lies Quarterly 

In 2008 artist Ian Crawley created forms from using sticks, branches and other natural materials. Have you attended the Altered Barbie exhibition in San Francisco?

Metalsmith Molly Epstein has created Vertebrae, a glass-filled nylon neckpiece made with rapid prototyping technology. 

"It drapes down the wearers back, echoing the vertebrae within, and able to be customized to the wearer by the addition of more bones." Epstein's is one of several necklaces, items of wearable art and more that I found that drape down the back. Their design may subtly or more directly represent the spine.

Artist Shanell Papp created Lab, is a realistic life-size model of a human skeleton and organs. The pieces were crocheted by the Canadian artist over an eight-month period.

Moon Raven Designs - Human Vertebrae Adjustable Ring - Bronze or Silver Plated White Bronze - Jewelry with an Edge Inspired By Nature It's available in different materials, sizes and shades of metal. Take the symbolism for luck and make a statement.

Chiropractic Giant Spine Parade Costume - 1 segment
Make a statement, keep up your posture


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