|Octopus in "Animals Inside Out"|
|Capillaries in horse's head in "Animals Inside Out"|
Von Hagen made a programme, transmitted on Easter Day, about creating a contemporary crucifixion using his particular plasticination process. It was a moving programme, particularly as the joiner he employed to go out into the forest and make the cross was probably using almost exactly the same process used in Roman times. Also, von Hagen himself is a charming and humorous, if dark, character, but he also suffers from poor health. He has Parkinsons disease and it is restricting his activities more and more. At one point he told the story of the rose grower who has to retreat from whole nurseries of beautiful roses to, eventually, just a single bloom in a vase. Von Hagen points out that it is a process of living that one has to learn to release not only the physical faculties, but also knowledge and skills. A poignant process for him as he is such a vital character.
This week I have been in the Natural History Museum in London and I visited the exhibition about animal anatomy created by his team. It includes a dissected elephant, as well sea creatures such as the octopus above, and many other mammals such as horses, giraffes, camels, rabbits, cats and pigs. I particularly found it interesting as a way of understanding the musculature of the shoulders and hindquarters in the horses, and how it is attached to the bones. All the mammals have the same basic muscle pattern but it varies slightly accordingly to their body shape. I have returned to my studio reinspired to explore sculpture.