Human Torso of Swann-Morton Blades

Swann-Morton have collaborated with Australian artist Linton Meagher on his latest art project. Linton, a doctor at the Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney has depicted the human torso using overlapping scalpel blades cast in resin.

His last exhibition "Encapsulations" involved mosaics made of over 120,000 pills cast in resin and displayed in glass slabs. It took 14 months for Meagher to mount them on Perspex, paint them and cover them with resin for the exhibition. Mozaic made with only blades

"I started off trying to get placebo tablets made, but the manufacturers I contacted thought I was a prank call or something," he said. So he bought the pills at a supermarket. "I was waiting in the checkout queue and some guy just turned to me and said, 'You know it takes a day to die and it's a horrible death' and then turned back," says Meagher, who also happens to be a third-year psychiatry student. "It's very hard to think of a comeback to that when you've got two trolleys full of pills."

Painting, he says, "helps you to become more sensitive to others" and psychiatry, "certainly makes you aware of what drives people". He studies at a Sydney hospital during the day, and paints at night and on weekends. He channelled his insights into the exhibition, which explored the increasingly prevalent role that drugs play in people's lives." I think people don't challenge enough the whole role of tablets, in terms of the way they're used to find pleasure, or boost or enhance performance."

A graduate of both Bachelor of Arts and medicine degrees from the University of Sydney, Meagher says his paintings aren't "anti-drugs", though. He points out that "with some conditions, there's still a clear evidence-based role for medicine". Furthermore, the exhibition, which also featured an Eyes Wide Shut-like threesome, and a tiny, reclining nude painted on an emptied anti-depressant pill packet, demonstrates their potential aesthetic beauty."

The pills themselves are sort of lifeless, machine-made identical objects, very unappealing, but when you put them together and paint them, they can actually be very beautiful and evocative."

Linton initially produced a prototype work consisting of 2000 NO.22 scalpel blades. The idea is that when light is projected through the finished pieces the shadows cast by the blades will form an interesting and arresting image.

This has lead him to produce a full exhibition of his work with blades many of which can be viewed in the artworks section of his website lintonmeagher.com. A number of surgeons have actually bought the artwork and he is now exhibiting more original pieces at his show held in Sydney which opened in March this year.

More information on Linton and his work can be found at lintonmeagher.com

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