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Crafting Anatomies placed the human body at the centre of a multi-disciplinary dialogue; exploring how this entity has been interpreted, crafted and reimagined in historical, contemporary and future contexts.

The exhibition dissected attitudes and approaches towards contexts of the body by showcasing visionary practices of leading international artists, clinicians and designers. These items were featured alongside anatomical exhibits selected from historical collections including films from The Wellcome Trust archive.

Organs crafted by silk worms, bespoke jewellery cultured from human skin cells, and couture garments constructed using plastic surgery cutting techniques were just some of the speculative projects that were on display.

43 practitioners in total took part, includingShelly GoldsmithAmy CongdonRichard Arm, John Pacey-LowrieJuliana SissonsKaren InghamMarloes ten BhömerThe Human Harp Project, and many more.

A series of talks, demonstrations and workshops accompanied the exhibition, culminating in a symposium which highlighted the rigour in approaches to this subject by the individuals featured in the show.

This exhibition was curated by Amanda Briggs-Goode, Rhian Solomon and Katherine Townsend – members of the Creative Textiles Research Group at Nottingham Trent University.


Crafting prosthetic eyes 

Wednesday 14  January 2015, 5 pm  – 9 pm
As part of the Special Preview Event ocularist John Pacey-Lowrie gave a demonstration on how to craft prosthetic eyes. John has 35 years’ experience in bespoke ocular prosthetics.  He is one of an extremely small group of talented practitioners who design, manufacture and hand-paint ocular prostheses.

Pattern cutting inspired by plastic surgery

Saturday 17 January 2015, 10 am – 3 pm
Surgical techniques in cloth to create simple garments with Juliana Sissons.

Crafting anatomies to train surgeons

Wednesday 21 January 2015, 3.30 pm – 4.30 pm
Composite material specialist Richard Arm talked about his groundbreaking project that simulates human hearts to train surgeons.

Crafting Anatomies Symposium

Friday 30 January 2015
This one day symposium explored the curious practices of a selection of Crafting Anatomies’ exhibitors, highlighting a preoccupation with the human condition in a breadth of exploratory contexts.

If you have any questions or enquiries about the Crafting Anatomies events listing please email

Exhibition Recources

From Our Blog

The Crafting Anatomies project places the human body at the centre of a multi-disciplinary dialogue; exploring how this entity has been interpreted, crafted and re-imagined in historical, contemporary and future contexts.

This one-day symposium will explore the curious practices of a selection of Crafting Anatomies’ exhibitors, highlighting a preoccupation with the human condition in a breadth of exploratory contexts.

Delegates will also have the opportunity to visit the Crafting Anatomies exhibition in conjunction with this event and see ocularist and Crafting Anatomies exhibitor, John Pacey-Lowrie, as he demonstrates his craft of creating prosthetic eyes.

© Marloes ten Bhömer Courtesy Stanley Picker Gallery

Bellow is a selection of featured artists from the exhibition, Crafting Anatomies

Amy Congdon

Exploring Textile Design / Biotechnology in her BIOLOGICAL ATELIER :  SS 2082 ‘EXTINCT’ COLLECTION

“At some point, in the not too distant future, biotechnology is going to give the design world the biggest set of completely new materials and tools it has ever had the opportunity to play with.”

Detail of Amy Congdon’s Biological Atelier
Amanda Cotton

Amanda Cotton re-purposes waste materials produced by the human body – not to shock, but to give viewers a different perspective and question preconceived ideas.

Check out Amanda’s website for more of her work

Detail of Amanda Cotton’s work for Crafting Anatomies
Jon Clair

Jon Clair London-based artist who’s work is centred on “digital intimacy”.

Detail of Jon Clair’s work for Crafting Anatomies

The body becomes the centre of a provocative exhibition which, through a selection of visionary artworks, will explore how the human form has been crafted, interpreted and re-imagined in historical, contemporary and future contexts.

Crafting Anatomies brings together an intriguing collection of exhibits by national and international artists and designers who explore the body through the themes of material, performance and identity.

Dr Katharine Townsend, Reader in Fashion and Textile Crafts at Nottingham Trent University, is co-curating the January exhibition alongside Dr Amanda Briggs-Goode, Head of Department for Fashion, Textiles and Knitwear, and Rhian Solomon, Researcher from The Creative Textiles Research Group. They have devised the project and exhibition to provide an opportunity for artists and makers to investigate the body and its meaning in contemporary society’.

Considering skin as a material, designer Amy Congdon is fascinated by a future world where materials are not made but are grown and luxury goods are fashioned from skin cells, not fabric. Her work, Biological Atelier, imagines the sorts of jewellery and adornments that could be created, in the near future, through biotechnology.

“With one of the most controversial sets of materials becoming available for manipulation, that is our body and those of other species, it could be argued that future fashion could be grown from the ultimate commodity,” she said.

Attention shifts to how the body performs for the Human Harp project, by London-based artist Di Mainstone, who has created a piece of body sculpture which literally turns the wearer into a human harp. When attached to the wires of a suspension bridge, the garment allows the wearer to ‘play’ the bridge by translating the structure’s vibrations into sounds.

Artist Amanda Cotton, who gained press attention for her photo frames made out of placentas, will be showing her work Portrait as part of the exhibition. Portrait is a visual diary created from face wipes that the artist used during a three-month period to remove the make-up and natural oil from her face, questioning whether this “mask” is indeed dirt or beauty.

“It is my belief that the by-products of the human race hold equal value aesthetically, to their raw material origins,” said Cotton. “Through critical engagement with my own body’s materials I have crafted a ‘body of work’ that questions people’s preconceptions and explores notions of aesthetic beauty and value.”

Researchers from Nottingham Trent University, whose work draws from and enhances the body, will also exhibit their work. These include senior lecturer and respected couture pattern-cutter and knitwear designer Juliana Sissons.

She will be exhibiting examples of her work that focus upon the fashioning of garments using plastic surgery cutting techniques which she has developed from observations of surgeons at work in the operating theatre.

Sissons began developing surgical processes for fashion through her collaboration with Rhian Solomon and the sKINship project, which is concerned with promoting collaborations between reconstructive plastic surgeons and pattern cutters for fashion.

Her work also explores research into ‘Langers Lines’ – a visual mapping of the grain of skin, used by plastic surgeons. She hopes to consider the benefits of this research for swimwear and body contoured clothing ranges.

Alongside artworks on display, the exhibition will feature a series of historical films concerned with the ‘crafting of anatomies’ from The Wellcome Trust’s film archive and from local historical collections.

Crafting Anatomies will be in the Gallery from Wednesday 7 January until Wednesday 4 February.