The photographs that make up this image were taken at the Ewen Race-track – the last annual country race meeting in Queensland, and one of the last in Australia. The weekend was hot (40° C) dry and dusty. As rural fire-fighters we were raising funds for the fire station by manning the entrance gate, and monitoring safety at the horse-crossing.
The image contains three layers showing the horses galloping in a cloud of dust, and a layer with two small boys watching the racing form, their race-cards in their pockets. Providing colour and texture is a close-up of a ladies purple feather fascinator. The combination of layers and textures produces a carnival, circus like atmosphere typical of the feeling at the meeting with the ladies dressed up to the nines swaying around in the gravel, men wandering around in freshly laundered long-sleeve shirts and ties, and all this on a camp-site in the middle of the bush over two hours drive from the nearest town.
As always behind it all is the chest x-ray of a young person with bronchiectasis and underlying collapse of the infected lobe. This condition is due to chronic infection and a vicious spiral of bronchial infection, fibrosis causes bronchial walls to dilate, and an inability to expel mucus which then becomes infected. Sadly and embarrassingly for the person concerned, it is often associated with terrible halitosis. Bronchiectasis frequently starts with a childhood lung infection. The link between the X-ray and the picture has to do with children looking into the future, the speed of the horses and a rapid respiratory rate in the dust and heat.