This is my first Xraypic commission. A young man that I know had an X-ray for Australian immigration authorities and asked me to make a picture using it. He is a gardener-horticulturalist, and when I asked him what he liked he said anything to do with nature. I was left wondering whether he meant flora, fauna, or simply the forces of nature. I had intended to produce a picture full of bush-fire with blackened trees and glowing embers but moved in the direction of a gardener’s delight.
The images here included a view down the valley along the road I go to work each day, red tipped grasses in bloom all down the slope. To give the picture texture I used a picture of bright red fallen petals under a tree. The weathered stump came from a beach in Maui. In terms of composition I tried to guide the eye in a vortex into the centre of the picture where there is dark hole containing the embers of a fire situated right at the heart of the Chest X-ray.
The structure of my image reminds me somewhat of the drawing in Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories for the Crab that Played with the Sea. It shows a large arch-like king crab Pau-Amma rising out of Pusat Tasek as tall as the smoke from three volcanoes, towering over a canoe with the mariners in it. Come to think of it, I probably learned, from Kipling’s book, to describe my pictures in words.
And so, for my young friend I’ve included references to nature in all its forms.