The World of Medical Illustration
If you think that there is nothing in this world that can be morbid & beautiful at the same time, think again. William Barnett’s book ‘The Sick Rose’ gives you a distinct perspective about the sagacious relationship between disease & medical illustration. Largely based on images from the Wellcome Library collections, its contents, especially the images are at times explicit and uncompromising representations of the grave illnesses that people suffer during war-time. However, it’s only because of these illustrated drawings that the entire disease presents a dichotomy of reflections singularly stark, morbid & repulsive but beautiful, sublime & appealing at the same time. Such is the art of medical illustration that the illustrator can not only manage to evoke sympathy from the reader but render a feeling of aesthetics to the illustration.
In 2004,”The Wellcome Trust funded Project Facade, which is widely considered a landmark science/art collaborative project combining and interpreting elements of surgical, social and military history with a contemporary art-making process. The outcome of Project Facade has been to bring the untold histories of WW1 servicemen treated for horrific facial injuries to a broad national and international audience.”
The world of medical illustration is different from the diagrams of posterior & anterior views of organs in biology textbooks. Those are images that are unable to evoke sympathy from the reader & are used only for dissecting the organ for studying its elements. Medical illustration has to evoke emotions in the reader. They have to be grotesque & dignified at the same time. They have to present the truth in a very realistic manner without allowing the reader to move ahead. It’s like the horror movie which scares, but holds your attention such that you want to get scared.
It’s a difficult art, which, we at print2eforms have mastered. We are adept at bringing to life graphic images of disease-ridden organs & giving them a dignified hue.