Body of Work is a presentation of colourfully illustrated X-rays presented on hospital imaging light-boards. As an artist I am continuously interested in the tools of humanity. Through the use of X-rays, shapes are created through the imaging and flattening of the human body. An entire alternate reality emerges through how humanity sees itself and the structures it uses for self-analysis.
Human tools define our civilization’s values, progress and intentions. By using X-rays I am able to quite literally comment on how we see ourselves. Importantly, it’s also how we see ourselves when the “chips are down,” when we’re vulnerable. North Americans are systematically taught to look for answers outside of themselves; to trust empirical evidence over intuition. Yet with x-rays it comes full circle in that we go outside of ourselves to look inside ourselves. And, although the natural organic lines and forms of anatomy are lyrical and soothing, they also speak to our human fragility.
I recently toured the old Sault Area Hospital in order to count how many X-ray Imaging light-boards are available. Imaging light-boards can be found in four different sections of the hospital: Emergency, Diagnostic Imaging, Operating Rooms and Cancer Wards. It was empty, dirty, dark and unheated with boarded entrances. As I walked around the cold, deserted hospital the heavy nature of Body of Work became increasingly clear. The building is full of memories, full of health issues, full of life issues as well as the reality of death. In North America the necessary homework around the ultimate reality of death is largely private. In the North American quest for individuality, death amounts to a betrayal of our achievements.
I use colour, organic lines and forms to entice people into a dialogue that is not always as simple as it appears. There is lyricism in these colourful images that runs contrary to the underlying information. The balanced colour and the beauty of the x-rays under-scores both our love of life and the admission that we actually lack control over it. The beauty begs for surrender much like the x-rays demand us to surrender to our bones and circumstances.