My work: ‘Time: Life’

26 05 2010

The third in the series ‘Time‘ I recently made is one that explores my own lifeline and milestones so far. The paper I’ve used is a colour copy of a lung/heart x-ray I recently had – the technician said I had a ‘lovely small heart’, which is apparently good news. I loved the blue hue the copier gave it, and there’s not another paper/text/image in my possession that is more uniquely me than this (maybe my birth certificate, but I liked this much better).

x-ray copy cut into strips

While I would have loved to have used the x-ray transparency itself, when I checked with the hospital I found out that no copies of film are kept, so cutting it up would mean I wouldn’t have the record for comparison to future x-rays. What I did find out though, is that the lovely person I was talking to said that many people send back their x-rays (or sometimes never pick them up) and that these are sometimes available (with confidential information removed) to artists – she was not at all surprised that I wanted to make art from mine!

paper woven and testing out shapes

The length of the woven paper represented my age in years, and then along the length of the strip I made ‘markers’ for milestones, which I handwrote on thin fine silver bezel and folded over. The last marker on the strip is ‘NOW’ – I didn’t want to jinx anything nor suggest that the paper represented all that my life will be.

'Time: Life' (fine silver, paper, stainless steel); amended copyright notice: not to be reproduced without permission

I tried many iterations of the final construction, with wire tests and other frames, but decided on the above form as the free-fall of the curls was appealing.

This is an exhibition piece only: it feels too big to wear, at least I think it’s too big for me to wear (especially in its current format); and I cannot see that anyone else would be interested in wearing my life milestones! That said though, I really enjoyed making this one; especially thinking about the various ways a person’s life can be represented in a traditional timeline (like the ones used for history lectures) – one could use addresses, relationships, hairstyles, etc…

Previous post on ‘Winter Brooches’ work here


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