Cabinet Medical museums are very stimulating places to visit. Not only can you see the wonderful craftsmanship of the instrument makers, but you can also find the seeds of some very curious stories.
In the foyer of the Royal Melbourne Dental Hospital, you'll find this cabinet of historical dental tools. Look closely and you'll see the same kinds of tools used by jewellers: files, probes, drills, wax casts, etc.

In the museum of the Royal College of Surgeons, you'll find a cabinet containing a cast of the hand of famous Edinburgh surgeon, James Syme. The inscription reads:

The original in marble was made by Mr Brodie, sculptor, from a cast of Professor Syme's hand. It belonged to Dr John Brown, who gave it to Lord Lister in 1877. Lord Lister presented it to the Anatomical Museum of Edinburgh University in February 1905.
This is a copy made by permission of the late Professor Emeritus J.C. Brash, sometime professor of Anatomy at the University of Edinburgh.
In modern society, there is a divide between work devoted to practical ends (9 to 5) and activity which has more expressive aims (the weekend). One you do as a means to an end, and the other you do as an end in itself. What this arrangement denies is the considerable experience shared between the occupations that are integrated into the working week and the arts that occur at the margins of society. How do you put them together?

The Day Job

Interviews with dentists, surgeons, breadmakers, journalists and jazz musicians about what they have to show for labours at the end of the day. Originally broadcast as a series of five items for ABC Radio National Arts Today program, July 1994.

At the end of the day, what do you show for what you do? If you're an artist, your work is there for all to see -- the painting on the wall, the pot on the pedestal. But what if you belong to that obscure group known as non-artists. What if your day is spent pleasing, not yourself, but others -- meeting deadlines, filling orders, answering inquiries. How do you make a mark in that world? To answer that question, non-artists from five trades and professions have been invited to speculate where they might seek forms of artistic expression that complement their day job. There may be a way, after all, of having your cake and eating it too.

Take a pitstop on the superhighway...

Rule of Thumb

Kevin Murray©1995