First, I must thank Jörg Kruth http://joergkruth.wordpress.com/ for very kindly nominating me for the Sunshine Award. It’s a beautiful thought, and I’ll be delighted to pass it on to other bloggers. I have found the experience of blogging to be extremely rewarding, in building my confidence as an artist, and to receive the generous encouragement and helpful comments of other artists far more talented than I. So; vielen Dank Jörg. Ich wünsche Ihnen Glück und Sonnenschein.
Friday 8th November was the International Day of Radiology and our department celebrated with a short scientific meeting. I was kindly asked to speak about art in Radiology, and since so many requests had come “How do you do it” proposed to create a picture in front of the group using Photoshop and one of my teaching file X-rays.
The extent to which it was a successful attempt is visible in the accompanying picture. It had to be created in just 15 minutes, so it was a race against time. The finished product is anything but finished, it would have been good to do lots more… but I present it here as it appeared on the day.
The index X-ray was of a woman with a mastectomy for breast cancer who subsequently developed a large malignant lump in the chest adjacent to the heart. It is a good teaching film because the neophyte will call it an enlarged heart and fail to notice the missing breast.
Even if the signs are correctly observed, they must correlate information into a coherent diagnosis – either metastatic breast cancer, or a new cancer such as a lymphoma, and further discuss investigation. In the final artwork I wished to focus on breast cancer awareness, draw out the idea of cancer spreading in the body, and highlight the fact that even young women may be affected. Over the background texture – an industrial board stained pink, photographed in Russia – I layered two photos of a seed pod picked up in Hawaii, and extracted the beautiful central spiral to give a crab-like structure linking the figure to the chest X-ray.
Also included is a beautiful girl in a lovely dress at the race-track, striding through the layers of the picture. I placed her behind the seed-pod wings so as to hide her face and retain her anonymity.
Whilst constructing the picture in front of an audience, I realised how difficult it is to do art on demand – the time factor, describing what I was doing, interpreting the result, all the time trying to hang images together cohesively was almost more than can be dealt with at once. Further, when lecturing I like to look at the audience and gauge their response as I go along. With eyes fixed on the developing artwork that became very difficult. Being able to do all this with aplomb is the attribute of a consummate performer, which I am not.