Body Worlds 2, at the Science Center

Posted on 04.04.2008


I was able to make time in my schedule to attend ‘The Perfect Form’, a live model drawing session for artists in the area put on by the Science Center in conjunction with my college that took place within the Body Worlds 2 exhibit that is currently going on.

It was a typical 3 hour drawing session, with the models on for 20 minutes and off for about 10. They were positioned in specific locations throughout the exhibit, taking the poses of the Plasticine models in the glass cases next to them. They rotated each hour.

This was my first time viewing the show. The ‘1’ exhibit had come to DC a few months earlier, and I hadn’t been able to make it down to see it. To tell you the truth, I was not sure if I’d be able to handle seeing the cadavers in their preserved forms. I’m kind of a wimp when it comes to gore, and I never really bothered to look up the original Bodies show when it came around.

I only spent 20 minutes on drawing a live model. I was completely enthralled by the show. Three hours was not nearly enough time for me to process everything. I really wish I had had an entire day to be there.

I’ll post the drawings that I got out of it after I shoot them, but they are nothing exciting. They’re exciting to me, personally, because of what I got to see and how fast I had to draw, but I don’t think they’ll be super-amazing to the eyes of someone that doesn’t know me.

I learned something very quickly when I got to the show and started drawing: although alcohol probably loosened my motion a bit and made my images more fluid, I am very much out of practice when it comes to drawing and that is something I need to remedy. I love drawing, even if things never look exactly as I want them to.

You can imagine that after the show, I was telling my friends that they NEEDED to go see it, just as Aimee and Jeanan had done to me. A lot of people had the same thoughts that I had had; they were unsure of how they would react to the show itself.

Its definitely not for everyone. Especially the far right-wingers, because there is a room full of ‘the wonders of birth’. You know what is in there…

My thoughts while I was drawing two of the plasticine models (the Angel and the Ballet Dancer, respectively) wandered over the identities of the people they used to be. I wondered if their names were recorded somewhere, if their families knew, if waivers were signed and if these people knew what their bodies would end up as, etc.

Luckily, there are two articles that deal with that, and the entire show as a whole. You can check them out HERE and HERE. Do read them, and absolutely DO check out the show if it comes to you. It is utterly fascinating.

As I said above, that three hours we had was nowhere NEAR enough time for me to be taking in this show, let alone drawing. I may have to find out if I can get clearance to be there for a day just to sit and draw in the show? Anyone know about this?

Posted in: art