The Fractured Manner of Learning: A Sculpture & Conversation

A Sculpture & Conversation with Eric Zabriskie

This is part of the Medical Humanities Series on Op-Med, which showcases creative work by our members. Do you have a poem, short story, creative nonfiction or visual art piece related to medicine that you’d like to share with the community? Send it to us here.

“Microvascular Surgeons in the Burn Unit.” Photo provided by Eric Zabriskie.

What inspired this piece? Why did you choose this form for this topic?

I made this piece to process some of what I was seeing in medical school and to incorporate the fractured manner in which we were learning about the varied specialties & systems of the body into a single composition — to remember all of these processes live inside a single whole, a person. Sculpture lends itself to the anatomical/surgical nature of the piece.

How long have you been doing this activity? How did you get into it? How does it relate to your medical practice?

10 years ago I unwound a broken guitar string, made a spider web and bug, later I filled in the bug’s wing with nail polish — and I have been making little creations ever since.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about your involvement in or views on creative arts and medicine?

I aim to bring medicine into my artistic practice, and art into my medical practice, throughout my career!

Photo provided by Eric Zabriskie

Eric Zabriskie is a 4th year medical student at SUNY Upstate Medical University going into Psychiatry. He makes wire & nail polish sculptures, music, photography and videos on the side.

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