Not long ago I saw a dreadful case of staphylococcal pneumonia in which a child’s lungs were very badly damaged, many cavities in the lung tissue occurred as abscesses formed. This was a so called “super-bug” – a “golden staph” called that because of its colour on a laboratory culture plate. Generally this is a harmless commensal that lives on our skin but can cause boils and wound infections. The multiresistant form tends to originate in hospitals where it has developed antibiotic resistance and mainly spreads through patient contact. Lung infection is commonest in young children and debilitated people, it starts as a short fever and goes on to severe breathing problems. Our case needed intensive care for a long time.
Stimulated by this for my picture I went to the X-ray archives and found a museum case with similar appearance as a basis. The ideas and connection with my layers was simple, taking the idea of holes in the lung tissue. The pictures were torn to pieces electronically, superimposed one on the other, and then inserted the X-ray using edge enhancement and the “find edges” tool. I used two photos of our back paddock with the golden colour of the grass contrasting with the blues of the sky above. I intended originally to give the impression of a watercolour painting but loved the granularity this technique produces. The golden colour and the tough, gritty, coarse texture is very like colonies of staphylococcal bacteria growing on a plate.