Self-Portrait by Angela Palmer.
The exhibition that the two pieces (above) were a part of is entitled Inside Out: Body Imaging Sculptures by Angela Palmer.
The technique of using multiple sheets of glass to recreate the body was inspired by the model showing the structure of penicillin created in the 1940s by the Nobel Prize-winning scientist, Dorothy Hodgkin. This extraordinary object was transfixing to Palmer: thick, black contour lines formed a visually stunning three-dimensional map of the structure of penicillin. The contours depict the lines of electron density and show the positions of individual atoms in the penicillin structure. Palmer was fascinated by how an object of the utmost simplicity—put together with a few sheets of Perspex and industrial nuts—could demonstrate a subject of the utmost complexity.
At the time Palmer discovered Hodgkin’s model, she was drawing cadavers in the Medical Sciences department of Oxford University as part of her undergraduate course at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art. It struck her that if she drew details of the slices of cadavers onto multiple sheets of glass and presented them on a vertical plane, then the internal architecture of the body could be shown three-dimensionally.