After exploring various techniques I came up with a general solution to be applied to the Chest X-rays that comes up with both an image that is attractive and tells a story, though the story can sometimes be difficult to read without background. The important thing is that it tells a story for me as the artist. Hopefully other people will “get” it too.
& GAS is a chest X-ray with a huge cancer in the right lung that shines through the overlying text. & Gas refers to the respiratory function of the chest, this is a dark image full of anxiety, insecurity and despair.
There is an ongoing concern that radiation may have long term genetic effects on the population and the Chest X-ray image following addresses this. It is called DAMAGE SPERM and portrays a person with a chronic pneumonia of the left lower lobe. The relatively normal right lung is well shown and clearly comes through the layers. The focus of the image is on the heart as the text pulls into this area and it is hilighted in orange colour. The fact that it is still possible to make a diagnosis on this case even after subtraction of large parts of the base image gives an indication of the power of the X-ray modality. With this power comes a responsibility to use it not to cause harm to generations as yet unborn.
One of the areas that has been most troubling in my profession has been work with infants intentionally injured by adults – so called Battered babies, or those shaken to the point of death. The image SHAKEN TO DEATH shows the fragmented and shattered light shining through the X-ray image. I cannot view this without feeling distressed. Even though I made it myself the image gives me the creeps.
While exploring the same ideas the following image of a battered baby contrasts the chest shape and the violent colours. The text lists symptoms of a shaken baby in hard point print that counterpoints the vague shapes of the remaining chest components.
The next two images No 19C and 20C are Be Clear On Cancer, 1 & 2. The government public health venture, and a rubber stamp exercise. The Chest X-ray shows the upper part of the left lung is missing due to a cancer, image Chest 19C is on a golden background whereas Chest 20 C is more ethereal, more of the chest has gone but the general feeling is much more uplifting. A small twig is depicted at the base of both – an olive branch, a moment of hope.