My friend Sophie,a wonderfully insightful anatomist who teaches in the Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education at the University of Lethbridge.has made me aware of the deep involvement of the brachial plexus nerve in the shoulder injuries that have been plaguing us both for far too long. We’ve known each other for over 10 years, but have never met face to face, communicating instead over the Internet including through drawings and photographs. In this case I can truly her pain because I have it too. We both have something nasty going on with our shoulders.
When she began sending me a minor barrage of anatomical studies of the brachial plexus nerve I realized that my fixation on bones and muscles has its limitations. And off course the nerve factor accounts for how far ranging the discomfort can roam: from neck to finger. Seems obvious. Such a secretive (nefarious even) network, and yet so present. The problem this presents for me as an artist is that the nervous system is so very hard to draw. However, it could be worse: I could be trying to draw fascia, which would probably be a lot like trying to do portraits of jellyfish.
The shoulder is so complex, the balance so delicate. And what’s going on with one of them is going to affect the other.