*Warning: this article contains images and descriptions which may cause distress, or be otherwise unpleasant*
A little while ago I was honoured to be invited to Real Bodies: The Exhibition at Birminghams NEC in my first solo Geeky Brummie outing.
Real Bodies: The Exhibition showcases real life bodies that have been unclaimed and frozen in pose, in a process called ‘Polymer preservation’. This involves injecting them with a liquid silicon rubber to ensure they stay visibly unchanged from their natural state.
The exhibition was put together by Imagine Exhibitions and their CEO and president Tom Zaller had this to say.
“While the exhibition moves through the anatomical systems of the human body, it also looks far beyond the physical aspects,”. He continued: “It explores the symbolic and cultural significance that bodily systems – such as the nervous system and circulatory system – have had from the beginning of time, and questions why we do what we do and how we do it”.
Words cannot describe how fascinating I found it to see the tiniest interwoven veins, arteries and muscles connecting the human skeleton together. This now only showcasing how the human structure and system works but also how this enables the wide range of motions we are capable of as humans.
Richard Mann, the Marketing Development Director for the NEC Group, said about the exhibition: “We are very excited to be hosting Real Bodies The Exhibition which gives visitors a fascinating look at the fragility and beauty of the human body like they have never seen before. By hosting Real Bodies The Exhibition for the next three months, we are giving visitors plenty of time to catch what we think will be the must-see event in Birmingham his summer.”
I strongly agree with Richards statement, the exhibition is truly engaging and enlightening. Peeling away the layers of skin (metaphorically and literally) to reveal the inner beauty and operation of the human body. This exhibition might not be for everybody and might put some off. For me it’s truly a must see for anyone with an interest or even mild curiosity about how the human body works. It’s also a fantastic discussion piece saying you went to see an exhibition on dead bodies.
What to expect
With a slight spoiler warning in place for this paragraph it’s truly humbling and in some ways. It was saddening seeing the different stages of foetal development from fertilisation to birth visibly laid out in front of you. This section of the exhibition can be very traumatising as such a warning is given before entering that section and it is easily skippable. There’s an alternate route for those with children or a sensitivity to things of that nature.
There is no set age rating for the exhibition. But, the exhibition does contain full and partially dissected human bodies as well as full genitalia. The exhibition advises against any children under 5 years old. I was informed however that certain children below this age have visited and enjoyed the exhibition. So it depends on the sensitivities of the children and worth having a look through the pictures and videos in this article. I also advise looking at the article on the NEC website which has a very helpful and informative FAQ.