Sunday, November 11, 2012

Anatomy, Figure Drawing, and Social Issues

Figure drawing is the measuring stick of drawing abilities (at least it has been in my experience).  Is figure drawing my favorite thing to do?  Not really, but its importance for my portfolio keeps me trying.  Having Gross Anatomy as a vital part of my BVIS experience thus far, it has affected how I go about drawing the figure.  Of course I always knew the body is made of bone and muscle, but after seeing the attachments, how it all fits together, figure drawing is more like a puzzle than random foggy shapes.

Though this is not the best figure sketch I've ever done, it's the first time I've been aware of what all the bulges and shadows were there for.  The body is organic yet mechanical.  For me, it's easy to get too organic and "mushy" that the moving part don't seemed hinged enough.  Now, I think I will have an easier go with the attachment points of the arms and legs.  Making the whole body flow together instead of areas just blurred out by shadow so I don't have to deal with them.

Something that still has me scratching my head is the translation of what I see and what I know.  Because of course, a person is going to have a certain set of muscles but variations are so extreme.  If I see a shadow somewhere but logic says it should be a couple inches to the right, what is correct?  When is a person's body their own and when is it a science lesson?  I tend to lean towards their body is their own and exactly how I see it, no matter what muscle should or shouldn't be there.  

People use "science" too often to get out of social issues.  Science is a social issue.  It is not black and white, the human mind creates what is standard, that doesn't mean it is so.  It is not a place where there is no discrimination.  It is a place where a great amount of discrimination is created.  The dissector used in our Gross Anatomy class used the male body as the standard.  Honestly, in all my biology classes the male body seems to be the standard.  There are more illustrations done using the male form, the information about the male body comes first, and usually a female description is written in a way that is connected to how it is different than the male body.  

There is also no mention of intersex people.  What is being taught to future health professionals leaves no mention of how the body can find a middle ground between male and female.  This has nothing to do with the outward appearance which can also be extremely ambiguous, which is an entirely different issue being ignored.  People will rely on scientific knowledge that creates an untrue dichotomy.  We are learning what "correct" people have anatomically.  Subconsciously, only seeing the "averages" of humanity will create fear upon having a patient outside the norms.  Outside the norms in healthcare usually means the person is "sick" and needs to be "fixed."  Healthcare professionals will want to change perfectly healthy people with different anatomical attributes because they were never taught that what's outside of their textbook can be okay.  Seeing these issues, I will dedicate myself and my knowledge to helping people in minority groups have healthcare they deserve.

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