Opening for Science Week 2007, as part of the Old Operating Theatre Museum’s 50th Anniversary Redux programme, the museum hosts a site specific exhibition by sculptor Shelley Wilson, funded by the Arts Council. Inspired by conjoined twins, the eerie wax sculptures of “Joint Account” suggest this condition is a metaphor for the complicated divisions of life. Created specifically for the Old Operating Theatre, Museum and Herb Garret, Southwark, the sculptures will be displayed in the museum’s unique heritage architecture.

Twins are a constant source of fascination to us ‘singletons’ but when they are born conjoined it raises intrigue to a much higher level. The Wellcome Trust Sci-Art, prize winning sculptor, Shelley Wilson sees this condition as a metaphor, experienced by us all through the natural divisions of a complicated life.

Wilson’s special advisor on this occasion has been the developmental scientist Armand Leroi who was responsible for the Channel 4 programme ‘Mutants’ and author of the book of the same name. He will be providing an essay for the exhibition catalogue. Professor Tessa Adams from Goldsmith’s College, London, will write an analysis of the psychology behind “Joint Account”.

Shelley Wilson is a sculptor and photographer who works from life to add a new dimension to the traditional wax medium, used in such anatomical sculptures as the 19th Century work of Joseph Towne. Working from life and well sourced medical/scientific research, she often manipulates the finished pieces using photography and dissection in order to reveal the complexities of the mind and body and how they interact. From the relationship with her subject matter that this creates, her task is to take an intimate situation to create a piece that relates to a universal human experience.



Artist-led Workshop by Shelley Wilson

Saturday 10th March at 2pm

Imagine being born attached to your brother or sister! Conjoined twins have

fascinated people since the birth of Chang and Eng in 1811; the first “Siamese” twins

to survive infancy. But how much do you really know about the condition?

Until the advances of the 20th Century, lack of surgical techniques would have left you

permanently attached to your conjoined twin : family-friendly activities help you

experience the limitations and advantages of being tied to a “friend”.

Dare you bond...? All ages welcome!