From Leonardo Da Vinci making anatomically correct drawings of the human body to Canadian artist Shanell Papp presenting Bawdy, a life-size crocheted duplicate of the human body. Shanell Papp is a crochet artist at heart but has always been interested in the human anatomy. This is how she came to crochet the anatomically correct model with demountable organs during her time as an art student at the University of Lethbridge. Papp started this research project in 2005 and finished Bawdy in only eight months time.
“Before making this work I had a keen interest in medical history, Frankenstein, Enlightenment thinking, the Victorian period, the birth of industry (textile production), crime investigation, mortuary practices, and museums,” Papp said. “I made the work to explore my interest in the human body.” For the final presentation the crochet human body with its organs was displayed on a gurney, to make an impression of a real lab.
Papp is incredibly talented in her crochet work. Her passion for wool and needles started at the age of 9, when she taught herself how to crochet. To combine textile in such an anatomically correct way shows just how much can be done with skill and creativity. It is no surprise that Papp’s hobbies follow a long history of a mixture of anatomy and art. From art made over centuries ago till today, the human body endures to fascinate artists.