Animal Inside Out
6 April – 16 September 2012
Take an 'anatomical safari', courtesy of Gunther von Hagens.
The German anatomist, whose infamous show of flayed, 'plastinated' corpses drew responses of admiration and disgust in equal measure, has applied his preservation methods to the wider animal kingdom, including elephants, sharks, octopuses and cats.
Various techniques have been employed to reveal different strata of the fabric of animal life. A giraffe cut into dozens of thin horizontal sections forms a mesmerising, elegant sculpture; faithful preservation of blood vessels shows us an intricate gossamer map of a horse's head and a frankly horrifying rendering of a whole shark; the exposed nervous system of a cat is an unnerving, alien looking object; and Von Hagens' painstaking preservation of musculature shows us leaping animals, the workings of an elephant's trunk, and the humbling bulk of a fully grown male gorilla.