Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Lives in Graphite

That special memory with a loved one, the beauty of a family portrait, or a picture perfect moment in time; all with the delicacy of pencil.

Lives in Graphite are monochrome pencil drawings that imitate photographs chosen for their personal and memorable quality.

They make a perfect gift for Birthdays, Weddings, Anniversary, Mothers and Fathers day, and Valentines. But also those special occasions that a photograph can capture, like graduations, school proms, births and Christenings.

Perhaps you have a particular photograph or image that resonates and inspires? Lives in Graphite is happy to replicate these using unique draftsmanship that offers more than a mere reproduction.

The possibilities for Lives in Graphite really are endless.


£55 for A7 (10.5 x 7.4 cm)

£85 for A6 (14.8 x 10.5 cm)

£110 for A5 (21 x 14.8 cm)

£170 for A4 (29.7 x 21 cm)

Prices for larger drawings will be negotiated with the artist.

50% of payment to be made on supplying image/photograph, by cheque or PayPal
Remaining 50% to be paid on confirmation of artwork completion (before posting)

Depending on desired size, drawings are expected to take a maximum of 1 week to complete.

High quality digital images or original photographs or are both accepted.
Digital images should be emailed as attachments or uploaded and shared via dropbox (if size exceeds file attachment)
Original photographs can be sent via post.


If you would like Lives in Graphite to create a unique monochrome memory, please email the artist to express interest.

Postal addresses and payment details will be exchanged, and the estimated time of completion will be established.

Thank you for your custom

Friday, 12 October 2012

Narratives of Medical Miniatures

'From the Classroom to the Clinic: Humanities and Education in Bioethics' colloquium

Cumberland Lodge, The Great Park, Windsor, Berkshire

8th October 2012

Having been accepted to deliver a poster presentation titled 'Narratives of Medical Miniatures', I entertained the idea of exhibiting the artworks with the convenors of the colloquium, who were really excited about the prospect!

So, the miniatures took a short vacation from thier glass cabinet in Newcastle Arts Centre, were packed up in tissue paper and polestrene balls, and carefully transported to Cumberland lodge (via a brief trip to London Southbank for afternoon tea!)

A huge thank you goes to John Gardner and Dr Andrew Papanikitas for the warm, friendly welcome they offered both the miniatures and myself, and for providing the opportunity to share the artwork with such a wealth of interdiscplinery delegates from philosophy, law, the social sciences, the humanities, clinical disciplines and healthcare sciences. My thanks also extend to Faye Taylor that, without her generous support, my presence at the colloquim would not have been possible.

From the Classroom to the Clinic colloquium at Cumberland Lodge

Lecture: Sir Ian Kennedy “Health: Doing What’s Right”

From the Classroom to the Clinic: Humanities and Education in Bioethics
Advances in biotechnology, the introduction of new medical therapies, changes in social norms, and health-related malpractice bring into focus the ethical, legal and social dimensions of health and medicine and creates challenges for those working in healthcare and biomedical research. Such challenges raise a host of questions, such as: How should health professionals and biomedical researchers be taught ethics? Can you be taught to be ethical? Who should be included in the delivery of bioethics education as both an ethical and social phenomenon? How should the public be educated about health care biotechnological and medical research, and what role should the public play in shaping them?

This colloquium will explore the contribution of the humanities and the social sciences to the education of medical ethics and bioethics to trainee health professionals, health professionals, biomedical researchers, and the public. The core premise of this event is that health is an interdisciplinary phenomenon, and that contemporary issues related to healthcare, health policy and medical ethics are best addressed with an interdisciplinary approach.


In ‘On Longing: Narratives of the Miniature, the Gigantic, the Souvenir, the Collection’, Susan Stewart articulates the miniature’s ability to “skew time and space relations of the everyday lifeworld” and finds its use value transformed into “the infinite time of reverie.” (Stewart, 1993) It has the capacity to create an “other” time, one which prohibits change and the instability of lived reality. Inspired by her theory, I chose the miniature scale in its cherished form to communicate the compelling affairs of modern medicine within a diminutive ordered world, away from external chaos.

Miniature medical models are all receptacles for the patient body. Far from the immaculate condition of branded miniature furniture, these models wear the visible signs of medical use, bearing a dolls house pathos where the imaginary presence of the inflicted patient is implied by the absence of the miniature figurine. On close scrutiny, they are unlikely to arouse the urge to procure and protect in the traditional sense of the miniature treasure, but on first encounter, they appear as intriguing, charming and humble as any other smaller than small artefact.

The absence of a miniature patient body is important. Each miniature medical model is a handheld metaphor for the physician’s rigorous attention on the tools of their trade to treat a diagnosed condition, more than a person embodying pain, which is remote from their patients’ own narrative.
The practice of medicine has historically been founded on the physician-patient relationship and the edifice of techniques, technologies and tools employed by medical practitioners to treat their patients. However, it seems the advancement of such expedients are jeopardising the foundation of medicine by becoming the centre of the physician’s attention, and imparting an impersonalised, sterile and dehumanising experience upon the patient. And the upshot of this rise in machine-like medical practice? Physicians are increasingly unable to distinguish between the human being and the biological system.

At the heart of the miniature works is the exploration of the human body, not solely the object of disease diagnosis, but the chief of illness narrative. The absent miniature patient in form animates such philosophical notions that accuse physicians of not wholly embracing the reality of human embodiment, and treating the corporeal body as a mere container of the mind. Practicing such medicine of distance offers only de-personalised treatment, far removed from the patients own narrative, to leave them feeling unheard, invisible and absent from the entirety of their treatment.
If these miniature medical models had a voice, they would speak the language of pain, anguish, concern, frustration, conflict and dilemma that pervade the experience of medicine for patients, careers, and often physicians.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Second dose of 'Create a Death Plaque'

As part of The waiting room exhibition at Newcastle Arts Centre, 7th September- 15th October 2012

For the medical students in the 16th-18th century, bodily decomposition was a regular encounter. As observers from the tiers of traditional anatomy theatres, they would witness and sensually experience unpreserved bodies in various states of decomposition, and thus, where closer to death than those in modern anatomy labs.

The workshop invited participants to examine the vital process without which life would not be possible. The organic material that surrounds you in the space decays by intervention of fungi and bacteria. Besides the occasional abandoned rotten apple in the bottom of the fruit bowl, we aren’t accustomed to handling or consuming decaying material, by means of conserving health.

The death plaque precedes the vibrant, sumptuous still life paintings of plump, ripe fruit and vegetables that typically adorn modern kitchen interiors. Colourless and odourless, the plaques have a clean, sterile appearance, which offer an aesthetic of beauty and purity. Although often, the products of decay adhere to the plaster during the casting process, leaving a trace of the rotting matter behind. These plaques embody a contaminated, diseased appearance, and echo the death of decaying material more profoundly.


Thursday, 20 September 2012

PHARMACOPOEIA the art of popping pills

3th Medical Art Meeting and Exhibition
University of Antwerp, Belgium

13th - 15th September 2012

Organised by the Art Researches Science (ARS) program, the Biological and Medical Art in Belgium group (BIOMAB) and the European Medical Students' Association (EMSA) of Antwerp

I hope this won't be my last trip to Antwerp! Spending time with Pascale Pollier-Green, Chantal Pollier, and Ann Van de Velde was tremendous; such inspiring medical artists! Looking ahead to Vesalius 2014, I feel we shall all meet again, in our creative capacities, on the soil where Andres Vesalius rests...

7. Kaju..(Anacardium occidentale) – bark, apple, shell oil and seed. Uses...In leprosy, ringworm, corns, obstinate ulcers, scurny, diarrhoea, uterine complaints, dropsy, neuralgic pains, rheumatisms, elephantiasis, the seed oil is an excellent emollient and used in gastroenteritis.

Pencil on paper

10. Sitaphal..(Annona squamosal) – leaves, bark, fruit and seeds. Uses..For the treatment of prolapse of anus of children, boils, ulcers, a fly infested sore, malignant tumours, hysteria, diarrhoea, acute dysentery, melancholia, spinal disease, a tonic and an abortifacient.

Pencil on paper

54. Marotha..(Terminalia cordifolia) – entire plant. Uses.. Rheumatism, urinary disease, dyspepsia, general debility, syphilis, biliousness, fever, piles, bronchitis, spermatorrhoea, impotence, jaundice, turpidity of liver and for fractures.

Pencil on paper

Untitled (rat operating table)
Mixed media
2 x 3 x 3cm

Monday, 3 September 2012

Healing and Curing

Exhibition of artwork for 'Healing and Curing: Medieval to Modern', University of Glasgow,
27th - 28th August 2012
From physicians, surgeons and hospitals to shrines, pilgrimages and processions, this conference explored the varied ways in which people sought methods of healing and curing from the medieval period, circa 500, to the nineteenth century and the advent of ‘modern medicine’. By investigating continuities and disparities across a broad time period in a comparative European context, the event entertained an interdisciplinary approach to examine this important and exciting theme.

Pencil on paper

Many contraceptive techniques proved of little value, and the next step was to induce abortion. Rhazes suggests various physical methods including the insertion into the vagina of a tube of paper or soft wood. This method remained a favourite, though highly dangerous device, until the twentieth century and up to World War Two and even later chemist were often asked to supply longs strips of quassia bark for this purpose. Knitting needles were also extensively used by amateur abortionists, though the risks of perforation of the uterus and resultant septicaemia were great.

Pencil on paper

Superstitions to ensure fertility are not only linked with plants. In many parts of Eastern Europe, a woman who fails to conceive within a responsible time after marriage is beaten with a stick that has been used to separate copulating dogs. By this means the fertility of the animal is transferred to the human.

Mandrake for insomnia
Pencil on paper

A plant long held to have magical and aphrodisiacal powers is the mandrake, whose divided root bears some resemblance to a human form. It is said to stimulate sexual activity and promote fertility. The mandrake has the distinction of having its powers mentioned in the Bible (Genesis: 30, 14-17), when the childless Rachel begs Leah to give her some of the plant. Rachel’s later delivery of a son, Joseph, is attributed to God rather than to the root, but the story does show the great antiquity of the mandrake legend. The most spectacular attribute of the plant, however, was its capacity to utter a piercing shriek when it is removed from the ground. Better authenticated was its use in syrup as a cure for insomnia and as a general anaesthetic, and at least in one modern manufacturer uses the active ingredient of mandrake as the basis of sleeping-tablets.

All artwork excerpts from ‘Magic, Myth and Medicine’ by John Camp (1973)

Healing and Curing (after XXXVI from Osteographia by William Cheselden , 1688–1752)

Conference image for Healing and Curing: Medieval to Modern, University of Glasgow
Pencil on paper

 Artwork printed on canvas bags and mugs 

The conference proved an enlightening experience in its varying approaches to modern and medieval medicine; one of those events that leaves your brain saturated in new knowledge! My drawings were appreciated by all delegates (and beyond). And my sincere thanks go to Marie-Louise Leonard and Sarah Erskine for their initial enthusiasm towards my proposal of exhibiting artworks, which in turn, lead to their commission for Healing and Curing (after XXXVI from Osteographia by William Cheselden , 1688–1752). To my delight, all were greeted with conference information in canvas bags printed with this my image and novelty mugs displaying the 'contemporised' praying skeleton!

Friday, 24 August 2012

Art workshop at High Moor Court Residential Home

Friday 20th August

The lovely ladies and gentlemen at High Moor Court invited me to deliver a workshop to help them create ornaments to adorn their new community garden. I chose decorative wooden wind chimes, which was great fun and enjoyed by all.