Tag Archives: asthma

Respiratory function

6 May
Respiratory function J

Respiratory Function

This image contains a chart of the normal excursion of the lung. The physiology is too complicated to explain here, but it is severely compromised in diseases such as Asthma, and the respiratory function charts produced in this condition for example can be very useful in making the diagnosis and following the course of the disease.

To produce this image I have taken a set of weathered floorboards and warped them to give the impression of boat timbers and filtered the image through a drawing with irregular lines roughly in a broken hysteresis loop. The colours were too dense and required to be modified, so I introduced a predominantly grey picture of a load of little glass animals which can just be seen in the background. The respiratory chart and the X-ray of a child with an acute asthma attack were then introduced.

For years there has been controversy over whether it is appropriate to expose a child with asthma to radiation because the diagnosis is essentially a clinical one and the X-ray doesn’t help in the acute condition. On the other hand it is easy, in a wheezing child to miss certain things, such as a pneumothorax where air leaks out of the lung into the thoracic cavity, if a chest X-ray is not taken. So the debate will continue.

Chest 86; Esima

7 Sep

Chest 86; Esima


It was 1973 and I spent the whole night awake watching a lady die from asthma. She wheezed her last, I saw her terrified eyes, and I watched her slide down that tunnel at four o’clock in the morning. Her attack was resistant to available drugs, and respiratory support resources were severely restricted due to medical sanctions imposed by so called civilised countries on the place that was then called Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). I have never forgotten her.

The excellent nursing staff at Harare Hospital call the condition Kuzarirwa and would say to us “Esima”.

The X-ray in this picture is from a young lady with asthma being treated in a modern intensive care. She survived. The image appears twice; both incorporated into the main image, and on the security monitor on the wall. It is the first time I have displayed an X-ray whole, and I think it makes a clear statement. It is paired with pollen bearing grasses and trees that cause allergic asthma in Queensland.

Boston Flowers

18 Jan

The chest X-ray in this image serves to frame the study, it was from a child with asthma; this links with the flowers and the sprays of yellow pollen. The use of meditation in treatment of asthma is a connection and to complete the circle is the link with Buddha and flowers, particularly lotus. We are born into a world of suffering. This suffering is a vital part of the human experience; it makes us stronger and teaches us who we are and to choose the right path over the easy one.


Chest 42; Boston Flowers

The flowers derive from an old worn doormat encountered on  shop-front during a day-visit to Martha’s Vineyard. The image of Buddha came when someone hacked my computer and left behind a stack of unwanted images, amongst them was this, after checking for viruses, I reckoned it in the public domain and so use it unattributed.

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