Tag Archives: heart

Heart of stone

26 Apr
Heart like stone J

Heart of Stone

For this image I chose a man with heart failure following a cardiac infarction – a heart attack. This is due to deposition of cholesterol plaques in the arteries, particularly those supplying the heart muscle. The plaques frequently calcify, sometimes known as hardening of the arteries. (Reference Ezekiel 11:19 “And I will take the heart of stone out of their flesh and give them a heart of flesh.”) These days cardiac vessels can often be dilated using small intra-arterial balloons. But I selected pictures of stone and concrete surfaces with textures to match. For the binding chest pain of a myocardial infarct I found an old picture of a wooden water-tank taken in Maui years ago. It was covered with orange algae and bound around with hoops of steel. The surface texture was highlighted. This gave plaques of colour on the image like calcified plaques in arteries. The final picture is full of tension and darkness. It’s appropriate because myocardial infarction, although it has dropped considerably with improved first aid treatment and wide availability of equipment such as defibrillators, remains a leading cause of mortality worldwide.






Chest 108; Heart to heart

14 Nov
Chest 108 heart in heart C

Chest 108, Heart to heart

One of the interns I have worked with knows of my interest in art and the way I use a chest X-ray as a signature within my images. She kindly sent me a copy of an X-ray that she encountered. It was done to investigate a young child thought to have swallowed a foreign body such as a watch battery. The X-ray that came through didn’t show a battery, but a metallic heart-shaped object in the middle of the chest – a heart overlying the heart. At first it was thought to be something the child had swallowed, now stuck in the oesophagus. The object turned out to be a charm on her necklace that the radiographer had failed to remove before doing the exposure.

I have twinned the X-ray image with a skein of coloured silks from a market in India and the inner reflections of a large coloured glass bowl. The charm was then segmented and floated above the rest of the picture to represent the focus on it, in view of the potential problem it may have caused if it had been swallowed.

This is a rather sentimental picture but that’s all good.

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