Long bones of the lower limb
What is the role of touch when learning the body?
I have spent the last few days looking closely at the bones that are in constant use by the students in the anatomy laboratory. One of the technicians who has worked here for years has been sitting along side me and together we have been scanning the surfaces of the long bones of the lower limbs. The places my hands find intuitively seem to be the places which also reveal evidence of the touch of many others before me. I grasp the long shaft of a femur and find it fits my grip perfectly and my fingers slide along the length of a boney ridge to find that it has already been burnished and oiled by someone else’s curiousity. I can shut my eyes and see such fine detail – detail I hesitate to put into words, because my descriptions would fall short. When I have finished I want to begin all over again because I know that each bone is unique and each bone contains the story of a lifetime.
About Catherine Truman
Biographical Statement 2011
Catherine Truman is co-founder and current partner of Gray Street Workshop in Adelaide, South Australia. Established in 1985, it is one of Australia's longest running artists' co-operatives. She has traveled and exhibited widely nationally and internationally and is represented in a number of major national and international collections including the Pinakothek Moderne Munich, Museum of Auckland, National Gallery of Australia, National Gallery of Victoria, Queensland Art Gallery, Art Gallery of Western Australia, Powerhouse Museum Sydney, Art Gallery of South Australia and Artbank
In 2007 she was awarded an Australia Council Fellowship and selected as a Master of Australian Craft 2008-2010.
Truman qualified as a practitioner of the Feldenkrais Method in 1999 and uses the body as a starting point in her work. Her work has always been informed by a strong political consciousness. Current interests lie in the ways in which human anatomy has been translated through artistic process and scientific method – specifically how the experience of living inside a body has been given meaning and the role of new technologies in the translation, expression and expansion of our individual and shared experiences of the human body.
She has researched historical and contemporary anatomical collections world-wide and has participated in a number of art/science- based projects such as Reskin an ANAT Wearable technology Lab, Australian National University, With the Body in Mind (a multidisciplinary art/sciences forum presented through Arts in Health, Flinders Medical Centre and Not Absolute an exhibition of collaborative works by artists and medical researchers and scientists held at Flinders University Art Museum, 2009.
In 2008 Truman was invited to participate in Thinking Through the Body (ARTLAB) –an interdisciplinary research project exploring the use and potential of touch, movement and proprioception in body-focused interactive art practices co-coordinated by Dr George Khut and Dr Lizzie Muller. The first public presentation of this research was held in Performance Space, Sydney, 2009. Thinking Through the Body continues to operate as a research ensemble.
Since 2009 Truman has been artist in residence in the Autonomic Neurotransmission Laboratory, Anatomy and Histology, Flinders University, Adelaide. In 2010 Truman and neuroscientist, Professor Ian Gibbins were awarded a Teaching and Learning Innovation grant (Flinders University) to carry our their research project entitled: Translating the Body: the choreography of representation in anatomy teaching.
Truman has just been awarded a ANAT Synapse residency to further her collaboration with Gibbins. Their research is focused on the exploration of the role of two and three dimensional forms of representation in the communication of functional human anatomy to students of medical science.
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