Getting under our skin

Thomas Bartholin, Skin in a frame, 1651. Wellcome Library
Thomas Bartholin, Skin in a frame, 1651. Wellcome Library

Our new exhibition Skin opens today. It’s a journey from the outside of our bodies through our organs and back again, with Wellcome Collection’s usual inspiring mix of historical objects, contemporary art and new perspectives.

If you want to get yourself in the mood before coming to see the show, we have image galleries galore exploring many of the objects and works on display, and Skin curator Lucy Shanahan talks through some of the objects in an audio slideshow. If you’re of a more literary bent you might enjoy Katie Kitamura’s specially commissioned short story The Tattooed Man and the Human Snake.

There’s already been plenty of media interest in Skin. Front Row featured it on Friday, Ken Arnold appeared on yesterday’s Today Programme and you can catch us on the Culture Show tonight as part of a science/art special (listen and watch quickly: BBC Listen Again expires in a week or so).

We’ve also got plenty of events lined up. Don’t miss Skin: EXPOSED, a sympoisum on the topic of nudity, with presentations and talks from Skin curator Javier Moscoso, Rebecca Arnold, Sir Walter Bodmer, Jill Burke, and Glenn Smith.

If you’d like to delve deeper into the dermis, we have some special ‘perspectives’ tours of the exhibition with experts from many different fields, Choose your tour guide from among award winning print and textiles artist Rhian Solomon; Wellcome Librarian Dr Simon Chaplin; novelist and author of ‘The Book of Human Skin’ Michelle Lovric; and British Naturism’s Andrew Welch (this last tour is clothing-optional).

And if all of the above leaves you feeling filled with inspiration, you still have a chance to enter our tattoo competition: Caisa Ederyd has volunteered to have the winning design applied to her skin at a special event on 22 July.

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