John A Douglas’ photographic work The Vascular Surgeon (2017) has been selected from over 800 entrants as a finalist in the 2019 Hazelhurst Art on Paper Award.
The exhibition launch and announcement of award recipients will be held on Friday 20 September from 6pm.
More Info Here
About The Work
The Vascular Surgeon depicts a woman, (musician and artist, Celeste Aldahn) in a stylised costume, bearing ancient surgical instruments, looming over the supine wax figure of the Anatomical Venus from the Museo di Palazzo Poggi in Bologna, Italy. This digital collage references the idealised anatomical body of baroque Italy that draws upon the sacred iconography depicted in medical diagrams of the period. The strangely macabre wax Venus by Clemente Sussina takes us back to a time when science was also metaphysics and sought to unravel the mysteries of life and death. Typically, the anatomical surgeon from this period is presented as a male figure who holds mastery over bodies that are presented as perfect human forms. However, in this contemporary rendering we see a woman claim the space of male power that serves as a homage to the renal vascular surgeon who conducted a lifesaving organ transplant on the artist. This retelling of medical histories alludes to contemporary myth making and the metaphysics of a life extended by organ transplantation.
Museo Palazzo Poggi, Bologna, Italy for permission to photograph in situ Clemente Susini’s anatomical wax venus, Venerina, 1782.
Kate Scardifield, University of Technology Sydney, Australia
This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.
This project is supported by the NSW Government through Create NSW.