Black and White with a bit of colour

20 Dec

I have missed out a couple of posts but the artwork is incomplete and I want to work on them a little more.

Here is my latest, it was inspired by a gallery in town that was asking artists to submit images with the title Black and White. I started working on it but somehow time got away with me, and anyway colour crept into the image.

The background consists of reflections of the sun on a sheet of X-ray film that we had been using to shield our eyes when looking at the 2012 eclipse. They fell on a sheet of paper producing beautiful waves of the sea patterns. The overlying X-ray image came from a premature baby boy with premature lung – hyaline membrane disease. This is caused by a lack of surfactant in the air spaces of the lung which, when in the womb, are filled with amniotic fluid in which the baby floats. From the sea we come, thence we long to return.

I love the feeling of a simple Japanese woodblock print imparted by this image. The inner frame has the impression of looking out through a secure window onto the sea through a fancy grille; security bars turned art-form. The linearity itself assumes the shape of a sea-creature, a crab perhaps, whilst retaining the familiar outlines of the natant chest X-ray.


Chest 37; Eclipse Wave

Aside 29 Nov

I have had some wonderful letters from other artists working in this medium, and I thank them. My present focus is to get the images into a tangible form. The first attempt was to visit a commercial printer who produces highly professional prints in all kinds of formats, but what they are doing is extremely “corporate”. They also had a “take it or leave it” approach and not prepared to experiment with different media such as hand-made paper. They did, however produce a translucent form which could be placed in front of a light-box and I may explore that area a little further, though what I think is needed is a small printer who can accommodate me (alternatively I could purchase my own printer – that could be fun)

Today I am posting some rather personal images, the first is called Near Death Experience. It springs from the death of my father who died in 1994. I flew to Johannesburg about two weeks before he died and he described to me an experience which he had a few days before. He was sinking into a tunnel with a light at the end through which he could see his sister Dorothy beckoning him. He did not tell me why he decided not to go that time.


Chest 21 C; Near Death Experience

The image contains text from a scientific paper detailing experiences of patients, it shows the distortion of time, the light behind darkness, the smile through the tears.

The next image is about a subject that has been close to me throughout my career. I have worked with tuberculosis in one form or another and been privy to the depradations of this horrendous disease.


Chest 22 C; Can You Imagine A World Without TB?

The image shows a chest X-ray with severe tuberculosis superimposed on adobe mud structure, indicating the link between TB and poverty in the developing world. In the foreground is an extract of a medical poster common in poorer countries – a kind of cartoon that both informs the reader but also places the message in another place, it distances the target audience from reality. My aim here is to demonstrate the mixed messages politicians in many countries send regarding addressing major health problems.


AIDS by General Idea in KUMU (museum of art of Tallinn)

The next image references the poster by General Idea in Tallinn Art Museum, which itself references the LOVE poster by Robert Indiana 1967. General Idea was a collective of three Canadian artists, Felix Partz, Jorge Zontal and AA Bronson, active from 1967 to 1994. They pioneered early conceptual and media-based art, they are a prominent influence on subsequent generations of artists. Both Partz and Zontal died of AIDS in 1994. My photo of the wall decorated with this image does not do it justice. Visit

Chest 23 C; AIDS

With this image I really started to get the idea of the use of layers, and I liked the depth of the image. The message regarding AIDS is there but you have to work at it a little to find it.



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