Introduction to AiA


Heart in Systole and Diastole

Art in Anatomy is a unique collection of artistic images that portray the beauty of life within us and around us, all created by a single artist.  The works of art display the miraculous gift of Life that we so often take for granted, expressed through the eye of a physician.  The art explores the origins and evolution of human biology.  Time spans from the Big Bang to the current world seen and felt through human experience.

The artist uses an interdisciplinary perspective, exploring the outward expression of people and nature in the world and using technological advances of microscopy and multiple radiologic techniques, including X-rays, CT scans, ultrasounds, nuclear medicine images, PET scans and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to explore the inner world.  Images of the atom progressing through the elements, molecules, carbohydrates, proteins and fats, onward to RNA, DNA, double helix, chromosomes, organelles of  cells, and finally the cell are depicted with scientific knowledge and with artistic license.  Positive and negative electrical and electromagnetic forces are the basis for interactions of these elements.

Anatomic images are rendered with creative expression, often to reflect the parts that make them up.  The artist portrays colors or shapes that may purely reflect biological nature, or when viewed in historical or cultural perspective the art pieces help the structures to express a mood or tell a story. The heart tells stories of romance, compassion, honesty and bravery, providing the body with a circulation of heat, breath, and life itself.  The brain as central government is the seat of thought, intelligence, moods, balance and personality. The liver is the metabolic work horse and factory of the body and works around the clock.  Historically it was depicted as an ancient god, considered by Galen as the primary organ of the body and production and storage site for humors. The gallbladder and uterus are considered by the Zulu witchdoctor or Sangoma as the receivers and givers of life; they adorn their headdress with gallbladders of animals. The abilities of opposing thumb made us human allowed our brain to grow and not only enabled us to grasp tools, but to speak body language.

Shapes in the body abound and are used to create imaginary animals and monsters, and people.  Some shapes like spicules have ominous inference in disease. Arborising vessels have tree-like formations, and these beautiful structures are depicted in many organs.  Time in biology is viewed through embryology, growth, and biological cycles correlating with maturation, reproduction seasonal changes and ultimately death.

There are philosophical principles underlying Art in Biology.  The order of the universe is not random.  It is reflected in repeating patterns of small units combining to form a product bigger and more powerful than its components parts.  Individual units are dependent on all other units of the body and must be connected.  The artist has labeled this principle “Units to Unity,” with each new larger unit seeking “Oneness” in striving for perfection — from the proton to unicellular organisms, to the individual, family unit, community, and on to the universe.  Biology lies within this orderly pattern.  Links connections and bonds are accomplished via the arteries, veins, nerves ducts lymphatics, tendons and connective tissues.  The physical and emotional bonds between the individual with others in the community are an essential part of biology.  The importance of self fulfillment and contribution to and dependence on the society is a balance we and our societies continually struggle to find.  All these elements are either in order or disorder.  Order is health and disorder is disease.

The organizational pattern seen in the cell allows for functional systems including transport, protective, supportive and maintenance components to work together to enable an efficient system within its given environment.  The nucleus is the central government and also responsible for growth and evolutionary memory.  These same systems are innate in our bodies, as well as the society and world we live in.  The artist depicts these recurring principles as they apply at all levels within categories in the art work such as the “The Cell as a Factory,”  “Cell to Society,” and “Cell to Soul.  The art represents the integration and confluence of biology, science, medicine, botany, zoology, psychology, literature, poetry, history,  and philosophy all bundled into unique art pieces.  They represent a lifetime of professional endeavor of the artist.