This challenge was one I have had to think about carefully. Texture is generally understood to mean the feel of a surface, a palpable sensation due to touch, though it has come to have a looser meaning in that a visually patterned surface can be said to have texture, i.e. it gives the impression of being palpable. It is made up of closely interwoven elements, sometimes applied to the texture of music, for example. But predominantly it is a combination of different constituents.
How I was to define that within the remit of my art gave me considerable food for thought. I have combined three photos of the much weathered surface of a tree stump, long exposed to the wind and rain. The fibrous texture of the grain was particularly evident and in the light it was brought out superbly.
But what X-ray to use to illustrate the word, what to combine it with medically?
The visible texture of the lung on an X-ray changes with various diseases; some fill up and obscure the air spaces of the lung (the little balloons that contain air), such as various pneumonias and lung oedema. These produce soft fluffy textures that gradually combine and coalesce to form smudges and larger patches as the disease progresses. Another type of diffuse lung disease affects mainly the fine tissues between the air-spaces known as the interstitium. These form more criss-crossing linear and honeycomb type textures that may be found throughout the lungs, or in specific areas such as the top of the lung, depending on the underlying cause.
The texture in the lungs I have included are mainly of the interstitial kind, and localised in the upper part of the lung. This person had an uncommon lung disease following chronic exposure to cage-birds in the home – bird fancier’s lung.