Four years ago I staged my first large public exhibition titled X-perimentalist. I rather fancied myself as a pioneer and wanted to reach out, to establish an audience who would appreciate the aesthetic of science and the emerging modality arts. I had come from a photographic background and wished to gain momentum for my work, as the earlier photographic pioneers had done before…a matter of classification, understanding and appreciation.
So how did it turn out? Overwhelming, humbling and surprising …most notably an amazing relationship with the oldest radiological society in the world and a series of healthcare projects were born…I metaphorically became a dad again with a series of new challenges of language, communication and expectation to innovate a new visual concept of ‘transparency’ between practitioner and public. Modality art is the perfect medium that visually embodies the science and when presented artistically can elevate, educate and orientate.
The concept of revealing truth is one of the simplest structures in storytelling. Everyone loves a good story and the discovery of character hidden in sometimes the most unlikely places. When you read ‘cover to cover’ you physically move through the book absorbing matter on your journey. This absorption is compelling and second nature to us. You lose yourself in it.
But I find medical/healthcare environments not easy to read. The covers are not enticing, the pages are not printed correctly or in a language I do not understand and I can’t focus on the story line. I have orientation problems and am most happy when I put the book down.
As Professor Gary Royle, from University College London says “We should consider whether there are any innovative developments we can propose around patient experience, in particular for the paediatric patients. The hypothesis is that some studies have indicated that this can potentially have a positive effect on the patient mood / experience and so could be beneficial to the patients / treatments / staff.
And here’s an idea of what could be done……
1. Explore the creative potential in the area between medical knowledge, understanding and use of modality art and the artists’ understanding of images and their power to communicate.
2. De-mystify the processes and technology used in diagnostic imaging to help engage patients, increase their understanding of the science and to help staff in communicating with them.
3. Produce artwork that is meaningful and engaging for patients, staff and visitors.
4. Develop a pilot/prototype educational tools which can help radiology staff in their work and benefit patients and the wider radiology community nationally.
5. Further artistic discourse and the debates surrounding art and science collaborations.
6. Aim to contribute to a re-engagement between the public and contemporary biomedical imaging techniques.
7. Implementation of new immersive way-finding, signage, feeds and curated digital art systems.
Four years later, I know less having now seen the bigger picture.
Visit the exhibition at:
gallery@oxo, Oxo Tower Wharf, Bargehouse Street, South Bank, London, SE1 9PH
Dates: 12 February – 23 February 2014
Opening Times: 11.00am – 6.00pm
About Hugh Turvey’s Xogram work
High Turvey is an artist with an international reputation. His Xogram work is held in public and private collections throughout the world. Bridging the gap between art and science, graphic design and pure photography, it has been utilised in myriad applications, including, commercially, for marketing and advertising, in TV and film and by architects and interior designers.
Along with developing a body of work for the Science Photo Library, Hugh Turvey has collaborated on an ebook and iPad app called ‘X is for X-ray’ launched at the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) in Chicago. His Xogram work has also been widely featured in newspaper articles and magazines around the world.
Among his commercial projects, he has made six award-winning TV adverts, using ground breaking Motion X-Ray. For the past three years he has been working with Waitrose UK on celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal’s ranges and has had images commissioned by L’Oreal, Paris.
Special thanks to: Senior Radiographer Sasha Moore YDH + Imaging Dept, Prof. Gary Royle UCL, Dr. Martin Fry UCL, Julia Solano + Radiotherapy Dept. UCLH, Niki Whitfield + Gloucestershire Oncology Centre Cheltenham and all the other hospital Trusts currently touring the Wellcome Trust inr-i project.