Portfolio Category - Portrait Awards 2014
Project info

On one of my trips I came across an ancient and quite poignant specimen. It's the twisted womb of a woman that caused the death of both her and her unborn child. It brought a lump of sadness to my throat yet I couldn't help but notice its beauty.

It reminded me of myself, strangely. As a small child I was a specimen, an example to be put in disposable paper pants on stage in the anatomy auditorium at the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh. I recall being embarrassed and being told by a kind voice to "turn left", "turn right", "walk" and "bend over" and I remember saying some now forgotten childish thing that made all the doctors laugh. It wasn't a traumatic memory as they weren't cruel like the children at school, they didn't hit me or call me names. I remember running off the stage to get dressed and being taken straight back to school, nobody at school asked me about it and I never spoke to them about it.

It has always stayed with me, less now as a memory more like one of those dreams where you step through a doorway into an odd magical world where scary things are happening then you wake up and realise that you are actually safe and warm in your bed and can forget the whole thing.

I never forgot.