“The Invisible Body”
Anand Saggar-Malik and The Painter.
I was asked to be involved in the project initially in late spring 1999.
The project excited me immediately as it presented an interesting and novel approach to art generally. and more
specifically science and art.
Often images from science are presented as voyouristc scenes, We all know too well the classic images in the
sunday magazines of sperm fertilising eggs or infra red images of breast cancer. This project was different. It
would allow me to be directly involved in the interpretation and presentation of art and science to the general
public.The history of David Jane’s previous illness, his constant struggle to interpret the medical images of his mind and
the moving depiction of his fluid brain as a swimming figure, struck a chord. My work as a doctor trained in internal
medicine and also now more recently as a clinical geneticist biased me to chose the the work of Heather
Barnett as a basis for my collaboration with David.Heather’s image of a fetus, like T S Elliot’s, Prufock , lay there, “sprawling on a pin.” It shocked me and fascinated
me. The clinically cold presentation and the clarity of the image demanded a response. Why would a woman show use such challenging images?, Was it desire, anger or resentment which motivated her?As a geneticist, with an detailed knowledge of embryological development, for me the images represented life rather than death, growth and not decay.
My work was brought to the attention of Heather Barnett by Denna Jones at Wellcome Institute, London, where I
had been involved in the ‘Sci-Art’ project in 1997. My work centred on images from various magnetic scans I had
taken after I contracted Herpes Encephalitis in Brazil..
After talking to Heather I agreed to work on her images alongside Dr Anand Saggar-Malik, a clinical Geneticist at
St George’s Hospital in London.
On seeing Heather’s images for the first time I was initially rather disturbed. I have two young children and my wife had suffered a miscarriage at three months some years ago. In talking with Anand I discovered that he toohad similar feelings about this subject. Although initially, given my wife’s history I was reluctant to focus on the images as life rather than death.
I realised straight away, as did Anand that the work would be a controversial part of the exhibition, judging from
reactions I have had from people and friends.
My studies at the London College of Printing during 1997/98, in Digital Origination together with my recent work in manipulating medical scans led me to want to reintreprete Heathers photographs as images developed on a computer. Approach to the Work Together with David we saw the 5 images as completely separate views and chose to try and bring them together in some way. To re-inject life while maintaining movement. We did not want to soften the images. The face becomes an important part of the final work since to us it represented the essential reality of the human life-form given us by Heather. Through computer scanning and colour manipulation we continue to create images which we are now developing further.
We are also considering the possibility of adding the spoken word and/or music to the work itself. The project remains a challenge since it is inevitable that the intense and often personal discussions over the meaning and message of the original art leads to a desire to re-present the initial work given to us. A process we still struggle with today.
Art/Science exhibitios ingcluding:
The Invisible Body.
Brighton Art Fair
“On the Wall”
Art Hybrid Cardiff Gallary.