Personal Object; chest and heart

The composition “Personal Object; chest and heart” follows on from previous work on sternotomy operations. It fuses together medical imagery and lived experiences.

A glass heart sits alongside a cast of a male human torso. Although not anatomically correct the heart is inspired by medical images of the human heart. When cast in glass, and with light shining through it, the heart looks as if it is still beating.

The imprint of a male chest is also made in kiln fired glass. But in isolation the body part has become abstracted and unrecognisable.  Multiple firings and layers create a sense of looking through the body. A surface scar from a full length medical sternotomy sits deep within the cast as a red bloody line signifying a medical event – the trace of the knife, bruising of the body.

There is a physicality to the work which is often absent from medical images. For the heart has been placed outside the body – directly referencing organ transplantation. As a composition the two pieces tell both a personal and a medical story about heart surgery – the body as object and subject.