Pharmacopoeia was an arresting show that fused art and science. A three-year collaboration between artist Susie Freeman, photographer David Crichley and GP Dr Liz Lee resulted in some incredible pieces that explored common medical conditions.
Freeman knits her pieces using an invisible pocket technique, enabling her to capture objects, namely pills, into the fabric. This filmy cloth is then made into garments and accessories that take the drug culture to a new high.
The exhibition included Jubilee, a dramatic dress that incorporated over 6,000 contraceptive pills, highlighting the sheer quantity required for 25 years ( lifetime’s) pregnancy prevention. Also on show was The Agoraphobic’s Handbag, a dinky tote bag embedded with drugs sufferers have to take to get out of the house, and A Packet a Week, a dress containing 840 cigarette ends, which equates to a packet a week for a nine month pregnancy – making a powerful statement about the dangers of smoking. These jewel like creations were not only beautiful to look at but highlighted the disturbing truth about the quantity of drugs we consume.
Of the shocking collision of attractive style and unnerving content, Dr. Liz Lee said:
We are trying to investigate other ways of providing information to patients. Something imaginative and thought-provoking which will encourage patients to consider the implications of some of the decisions made in doctors’ surgeries.