Chest 114; Sky blue

6 Jan
Chest 114 C

Chest 114; Sky Blue

My work tends to be full of detail with riotous colour. Colour almost controls me. To change this is a challenge. Inspired by other works of art recently viewed I’ve tried to simplify my image to give a more delicate, almost naive touch. It all began with about ten different pictures eliminated, one by one, down to just two base images. The index Chest X-ray is a 16 year old girl with paraplegia due to a road traffic accident (I don’t know why this X-ray was in the museum, because I can’t detect an abnormality. There was no explanation with it). It was overlaid with a single picture of clear blue sky. I decided to limit colours to just brown and blue representing sky and earth. The Edge Detect tool produced a sort of sepia coloured drawing of the X-ray. The sky was segmented into three layers using the Wand, and blended using the Difference tool. I also used Curves to tweak the density of colour a little.

And that was it, all bar the explanation.

One evening about 1978 as stand-in doctor for a Speedway event in Oxford, UK an accident occurred. A motorbike bucked on the uneven track surface and the young rider was catapulted into the periphery fence. We carried him from the track to the first aid room and assessed him whilst awaiting an ambulance. He had been rendered instantly paraplegic. Later at the hospital (before CT scans were generally available) we examined his spine with X-rays. He’d split a vertebra in two (a Chance fracture) cutting right through the spinal cord. He was aged 21. At the time I did not follow him further and have no idea how he went.

Spinal cord injury is a devastating condition causing much cost, both personal, and to society in general. No direct treatment exists. These days rehabilitation is incredibly good. Had that event occurred now, although his life would change significantly he could conceivably go on to lead a fruitful and fulfilling life. Stem-cell therapy looks promising with several potential strategies for treatment and repair of damaged tissue for people with spinal cord injuries – we dream of a full cure, perhaps the sky is the limit!

9 Responses to “Chest 114; Sky blue”

  1. Playamart - Zeebra Designs January 6, 2015 at 10:14 pm #

    This one touched me greatly as i start my morning – and am about to dash out the door— in 1994 my nephew broke his back in an accident, so i was ‘there’ with you in this story…

    when i read the title and before i opened the post, this song came to mind…

    still without power at the house – day six but am on my way there now and back to town later this morning…


    • Xraypics January 7, 2015 at 5:32 am #

      Thankyou Lisa. I am sorry for your nephew, what a tragedy. Has he coped and moved forward with his life? This blog – at least the art in it – is a bit of a catharsis for me, it is good to lay to rest many of the traumas that have occurred through a lifetime of work in this line. Your internet problems are diabolical. Is it mainly a problem with the server, or your own electricity supply? (or both?) At quite some expense we have installed a diesel generator that cuts in when the mains power cuts out. It has made a big difference. Incidentally I did like your Madame Valdiva paintings, very Primitive. Tony

      • Playamart - Zeebra Designs January 7, 2015 at 2:46 pm #

        my nephew is an amazing person and inspired me daily. all i have to do is ponder how much more difficult my challenges would be if faced from the vantage point of a wheel chair….
        internet is horrid b’c i live 5 k from town and there are no telephone lines – only cell options, and the cell usb system is very weak here.. it works well in cities…

        i was talking w/someone about backup options today for power – as the rainy season should get serious any day now.

        here’s a post about my nephew:

  2. leecleland January 7, 2015 at 7:10 am #

    I did like your colourful art works of before, but there is something peaceful about these latest ones. Maybe as you say you are now laying to rest many of the traumas you have seen whereas before you were still fighting them? Just my thoughts, if I’ve got it wrong no offence 🙂

    • Xraypics January 7, 2015 at 2:18 pm #

      Thankyou Lee, no you have it quite right. These are things that I feel better for letting them come out, more in the art than in the words, although the latter helps. I do appreciate your comments. Tony

  3. sedge808 January 8, 2015 at 10:59 am #


  4. burgessart January 8, 2015 at 7:55 pm #

    Hi Tony, I get a feeling of sand and beach here….for some reason. Much more fragile and delicate. Another aspect of yourself! Your stories give another whole different dimension to your art…..a realism few would ever encounter. Well done!

    • Xraypics January 8, 2015 at 11:08 pm #

      Thankyou mate, the art and the words go together without one the other is meaningless – to me at least. I really appreciate your insight. Tony

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: