In Sept 2004, I undertook a self directed residency with the Radiology Department of Galway University Hospital. Over the course of six weeks I worked on a series of cast sculptural objects that were specifically designed to be X-Rayed. Many of these objects contained embedded items that could only be revealed through radiological imaging. Once X-rayed, these works frequently displayed a visual tension or conflict between an object’s outer appearance and what lies within. Other pieces took familiar graphic representations of mortality, love and spirituality and translated them into sculptural objects.
I was particularly interested in how these familiar graphic icons become transformed through this process – eg. while a arrow through a heart makes for a rather sweet graphic ‘Hallmark’ symbol of love, the same image represented as an X-Ray is something quite different. Through my exploration of the unique properties of such a powerful imaging medium I had to adapt my work practice to focus more on the substance of an object and less on appearance - what it is made of as opposed to what it looks like. The medium itself acted as a metaphor for a recurring theme within my work; an exploration into the nature of perception and, particularly with this work, the desire to get beyond surface appearance.