In some way, medical artist Irene Healey continues the discourse about the public perception of science as she provides a few –often omitted–remarks.
When we think about the body in relation to technologies or to medicine, we always imagine a body that is abused, manipulated, taken advantage of, or, worse, ignored.
In her professional experience, Healey sees patients who seek her help to recover parts of their body forever lost to accidents, to extensive surgery or to illness. neither do they perceive her profession negatively, nor is their idea of the body populated by cyborgs, hybrids and so on. they just want their body to go back to the way it was.
a member of the American Anaplastology Association, Healey’s role is to reconstruct missing body parts such as noses, hears and other facial features, using materials that haven’t changed much (or haven’t gone too much technological) since the foundation of the discipline.
This requires a competence that can be performed by a person with a training in the arts. Thus, the role of the artist, in this field, is crucial. To be fair, artists have always been called to help practitioners in medicine and to build anatomically accurate models. as we observe the early wax anatomical models, we cannot help notice their resemblance to the statues of saints and martyrs sitting in Christian churches. The same artists working for their embellishment were often using the same models in the anatomical workshops.