Chest 97; The octopus tree
The lungs of this X-ray were left pretty much intact and the effects of diffuse intravascular coagulation (DIC) can still be seen causing fluffy shadows throughout both lungs. The person is being ventilated following a massive infection which caused tiny blood clots to form throughout the blood vessels of the body. These block small capillaries in vital organs such as the kidneys, liver heart, and lungs causing them to stop functioning. Depending on the type of treatment DIC has a 40-50% chance of never recovering. It is a devastating condition. I have at least one friend who died of DIC.
The paired images are taken after the cyclone Yasi swept through our region. Red flower fronds blown down during the storm lying on grass reflect the tiny blood clots. These are from an Umbrella tree (sometimes known as an octopus tree because of the flower bracts) and the overall chaotic nature of this picture echo both the effect of Yasi and effect of this condition as coagulation runs amuck through the body. A friend said the combination of red streak running to the right and the fronds reminded him of a dragon, so I included the beautiful cyclone-like swirls above and sinuous lines below taken from an antique Chinese ceramic pot with a dragon.
This image was based on a photograph of a very complex fig tree with thousands of aerial roots dropping and intertwining, a peaceful sylvan idyll. The highlights of the tree were inverted and selected to show the opposite of the original effect.
By emphasising the lines the scene becomes disordered and almost violent; sparks thrown off in all directions. To this comes the Chest X-ray of an child who has cystic fibrosis lying behind the incongruity between forest and fireworks. Cystic fibrosis children have something about them that sets them apart from others. Those I have met are patient and kind, they teach us perseverance and love. I have yet to meet a CF child who does not put a smile on your face. Their life is hard, there is a constant up and down, a whirlpool of treatment and illness that I have tried to depict by the addition of a design borrowed from a Dale Chihuly exhibition (www.chihuly.com) showing one of his beautiful artworks, modified to introduce a strong directional element into the image with a clockwise swirling effect.
Chest 49; The swirling
Although it seems to be finished in that alteration, addition, or removal of elements diminishes the strength of the image, yet I do not feel quite satisfied with it, but am not sure where further to take it.