After an initial start with my pictures using simple layering and getting excited about the possibilities, I decided to concentrate on Chest X-rays for a while, with a policy to link the condition and the art in some way.
These images begin to show the journey that I have taken – so far…
Shadow on the ground was conceived about the time that I started to show the images around, and this image received a wider variety of criticism than most, both good and bad. “Too obvious” “Butterflies! How twee!” were comments from people skilled in the use of photo imaging techniques. Others, however, were touched by the image and seemed to feel that it spoke to them. For this reason I have included it here. My take on it; it reminds me of human
shadow outlines in Hiroshima after the nuclear detonation August 6th 1945, where people had been incinerated by the intense radiation, leaving only their shadow on the ground.
Perhaps the link between radiation and regeneration is a little obvious, nevertheless the image has a place in this journey. I would be fascinated to hear how readers react to this.
At about this time my thoughts started to change regarding the images and I had the concept of including text to try and give some link. The most obvious link with Chest X-rays was smoking, and I felt that inclusion of images and text in part of the image would reinforce what I had to say. The resulting image is here to see. The text SMOKE BAN FEAR begins to achieve that, though I find the image quite formal and stiff. See what you think:
The formality of this image set me back awhile. It wasn’t where I wanted to go and it stopped my work on these images. On returning later the reaction was to produce something much more freely conceived, experimenting with colour to produce a splash;
This reinforced my impression that something valuable could be made, and was an encouragement to me.
Thinking about Kurt Schwitters a Dada artist (though he worked in several genre) and his use of found objects reminded me that an X-ray is a “found object” in this context. A London exhibition showed images of 1940s advertisements fragmented, sliced up, and reconstructed, this was the background for the next image which is presented in two forms. The images show an unaltered Chest X-ray with overlying image that has been cut and sliced, the image removed, just an outline of the fragmented image remains. I has a collage, Dada sense. Compare this with the Schwitters collage in which found objects are pasted onto a board and then further fragmented.
The subsequent image Chest 11C made use of more colour and gives it a “jolly” feel, more colourful and probably more appealing, though I prefer the previous Chest 10C for simplicity.
The final two images in this post are again different workings of the same image. At this stage I was still trying to find my own focus. I have called these two images FOCUS for that reason. The pictures are hard and geometrical, with sharply defined colours and remind me of in-your-face T-Shirt art.
Doctors often need to be guided in diagnosis to make a focus on a particular part of the history. Chest X-rays are no exception. They present a huge amount of information that must be processed in order to make sense of the image. The observer must both take a holistic view and focus onto a particular area of interest in order to come to a diagnosis.