Chest 116; Lobectomy

16 Jan
Chest 116 C Lobectomy

Chest 116; Lobectomy

I have begun thinking about the exhibition in September which at the moment is conceived as an installation; the allocated space a rather small, very intimate area. At the moment I’m considering projecting the development of one of my works as an animation, but am having difficulty working out how to incorporate the “story” without text or sound.

This image is one in which I’ve been experimenting, linking the various components – a whirl of sea foam, a large fern leaf, setting sun disappearing behind the trees, a spray of grass seeds. In my mind they illustrate the anatomy of the lung – branching bronchi ending in arrays of small grape-like bubbles. In the normal lung the ascini (Greek for a bunch of grapes) are roughly equal in size, but in the lung disease known as emphysema the ascini are very variable in size like bubbles floating on water. In the same way that small bubbles often combine to make big ones, so the ascini of the lung when damaged by pollution, cigarette smoke, and other factors, combine to make large cavities, useless for air exchange known as bullae (Bulla, meaning a bubble).

Ascini

Diagram of the ascini of the lung. Dr Frank Gaillard, Radiopaedia.org

This chest X-ray from the radiology museum is of a man who survived cancer of the lung. It was taken after removal of his entire left upper lobe (lobectomy). The surgical clips and staples are clearly visible. He has a background of emphysema, the lungs are over-inflated and full of bullae, and the remaining lower lobe has over expanded to fill the space.

The images combine to give tortured movement with bubbles swirling around the central figure against a background of herringbone textures breaking up into irregular zones. For some reason it puts me in mind of Michelangelo’s unfinished sculptures of slaves swimming inside the marble trying to break free of it.

Slave

Michaelangelo, unfinished sculpture (Image from sienamystic.dreamwidth.org)

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One Response to “Chest 116; Lobectomy”

  1. heatherlamont January 27, 2015 at 10:22 am #

    Love the colours of this one.

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