Vitruvius Surrealus

The photograph above is of a painting Didi has never finished. She started it in around 1993. It was done using pen and ink and silver and gold pens (though of course the poto does not do the effect of the metallic justice!). The painting itself is very large - too big to scan, hence the sadly rather poor quality photograph.

The painting is Didi's representation of Leonardo's famous drawing, "The Vitruvian Man", though alas, Didi is not as good at proportion as Leonardo (as this is what Leonardo was studying in his famous drawing)!

Didi has always been fascinated by Leonardo - his combination of right and left brain abilities fascinates her and she identifies strongly with him. On the one hand he would be studying, writing and drawing about anatomy (just one example of his scientific studies) and on the other creating enigmatic paintings such as the Mona Lisa.

As a child, Didi felt very alone in her rather unusual persuits. One moment she would be drawing or writing poetry and the next studying things like comparative osteology. Such persuits, being unknown amongst her peers, left her isolated and lonely and frequently the source of ridicule which Didi later realised was because people were scared of her strangeness. When she, through reading, discovered Leonardo, she realised that there were other people "out there" - even if he was no longer alive, she assumed that there must be other people living in the world that were like her and in that thought she found some solace.

Leonardo embodied what Didi believes is the ideal scientist - or the ideal artist; someone that combines both. She believes that to be a successful scientist one has to be creative but to be a good artist one also has to be a scientist. As a child, Didi became irritated by the way in which school and people seem to think that there exists a dichotomy between the technical/logical (left brain), and the creative/imaginitive (right brain) - that they are mutually exclusive. She strongly disagreed with this and found the "O-Level Options" impossible to choose from since they separated children into streams whereby the arts classes occured at the same time as the science classes, so she couldn't do both.

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