The Body in Art, Design and Society

This is my new constellation class for term 2. Throughout this constellation class, I will aim to gain knowledge of historical ideas, accounts and apply theories to my subject and practice.

Thinking About the Past

The Body is an object. We tend to take the body for granted as it is commonly represented, we ignore details as we see our body and other bodies everyday.

Plastic Surgery– First ever case recorded on 600 BC, Hindu nose reconstruction.

Prosthesis: Ancient mummification to enhance bodily apperance. Attempts to mak the body ‘whole’ in new life after death. Eg; Egyptians made a toe for mummy who did not have one. screen-shot-2017-02-23-at-12-22-46

War: Lots of discoveries and inventions, medical advancement of science, eg; penicilin. Masks made to fit over face for casualties. Allowed people to go out and find after war was over. People were also living longer- triumph of medicine?

Man wearing prosthetic mask after war

Today: Many more people are having plastic surgery and changing their bodies. More accesable today to have change body. Many celebrities having botox, lip fillers and breast enlargements. Katie Price is shown below, well known for many ‘boob jobs’ over the years.

Katie Price, “Jordan”

It is even more common for men to have surgery to change their appearance. For example, Jordan James has spent over £130,000  trying to look like Kim Kardashian.


Religion V Medicine

We also looked at religion versus medicine, 5th to the 15th century (West). Medicine was complex and generally unscientific, based on ‘reason’ and religion. Illnesses were ‘God given’ and bodies were not allowed to be cut open. To be diagnosed, the ‘doctor’ would look into a diognostic handbook based on the solar system. By 1500s, by law physicians had to look to their solar book to treat an ill person.

What is the relationship between your subject area and the body? 

Fine Art- Artwork based on the body, statements made. Paintings of people, paintigs of nude people, portraits showed class of person in the past.

Screen Shot 2017-02-23 at 13.16.09.png
Hans Holbein’s painting of Henry the 8th


Author: emiliasfineartblog

BA (Hons) Fine Art Student studying at Cardiff Metropolitan University

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