Chest 64; Two kinds of hope

12 May


In this image I tried to make a picture both simple (well, relatively so, most of my images are quite busy), and at the same time be powerful enough to carry a deeper meaning. The cross crept in almost by accident, I’d intended to exclude it, it was visible on the original picture; wooden tools from a commercial fishing boat leaning against a shack wall in the sun. In the final cut the cross seemed to carry a lot of weight, so not only was it left in, but became the main focus. Hope is a recurring feature of my images – spes phthisica a condition of euphoria described in patients dying of lung disease (mainly TB). I saw it in a close relative dying of cancer, in her last week happily purchasing embroideries and tapestries needing months to finish, and planning years into the future.

The chest X-ray was reduced to its minimal parts, it was from a lady with tubercular infection of the lungs and complications –  fibrosis, and a pneumothorax. What is left on the picture just retains the diagnostic elements albeit minimalized – another variation from my usual style which is often to obscure the diagnosis amongst the design (though not always).

In this image it is hard to escape the cross, all its social and religious connotations as well as its association with the disease of tuberculosis. I realised the viewer has to deal with that by bringing their own associations to it. 

By pure serendipity the image contains two Chinese characters 大 女 which mean ‘Big’and ‘Girl’respectively. See if you can pick them up.

3 Responses to “Chest 64; Two kinds of hope”

  1. leecleland May 12, 2013 at 10:54 am #

    The cross does draw your eye but I found the silver yarn looking stuff of the X-ray fascinating and my eye kept going there because it looks so three dimensional. This image to me is very much like a collage of threads, fibre and found stuff and even in digital format I want to touch it. Love the brick/blockwork frame too.

    • Xraypics May 12, 2013 at 12:08 pm #

      Thankyou for the observations. A friend has just pointed out two Chinese characters for “Big”and “Woman” which were unintended, but add another layer. Cheerio, Tony

  2. elmediat May 21, 2013 at 1:21 pm #

    These pieces have powerful emotional & archetypal connections. The synchronicity of symbols should fully explored with their creation. 🙂

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