By the time I had finished working on this picture I was confused by the many options open to me, didn’t know whether it was for me, or not. Best thing in that circumstance is to leave it for a while and come back to it. So I went down to the bottom paddock where family and friends are camping for the long weekend, and sat around the fire having a beer, listening to the conversations around me, and watching the children toasting marshmallows. On my return to the house at 10.30 pm, I looked at the picture again – and I still like it. So it is in like Flynn.
Nevertheless I don’t think it is one of my best. It is fairly flat, whereas I was trying to achieve depth and a sculptural effect. The picture was matched with a shot of the sun setting on the sea giving amazingly horizontal bands of light, and a slate-stone pavement giving the vertical component of the design. There’s a hint of Scottish tartan about the design.
The base X-ray is a Chest-X-ray from a woman with Emphysema. This is not the common acquired form, but the congenital lobar type. A single lobe of the lung, in this instance the left upper lobe, hyper-inflates. The alveoli of the lung expand into each other in the way that bubbles in a layer of foam break into one another forming larger bubbles out of smaller ones. This produces hundreds of balloons called bullae. Congenital Lobar Emphysema is usually discovered at birth or soon after, and for many years people thought it was pre-malignant. It is, however, benign. The biggest problem with it is the physical presence of a chunk of non-functional lung which continues to expand occupying valuable space in the thorax and preventing normal lung from working efficiently. This woman survived to adulthood without having the lobe surgically removed, which is unusual.