About the project

About the project

This blog documents the first phase of a collaborative visual arts project between artist Emma Hunter, Dr Philip Kilner of the Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance Unit at Royal Brompton hospital (part of Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust) and rb&hArts – the Trust’s charitable arts programme.

The project will focus on water-flow properties inherent in the structures and dynamics of the human heart and blood system.

This first phase, funded by the Wellcome Trust and devoted to research and development, will include workshops with medical students and with patients of the Trust, as well as the exchange of images and words you will see developing below. The outcome will be a series of works of art which poetically re-imagine the inner landscape of the human body. We hope it will invite audiences to make visual connections between our inner and outer landscapes; the micro and macro, and to consider the biomedical and ecological implications of these connections.

We aim to produce a catalogue to accompany a tour of this work in 2014, before it is hung permanently at Royal Brompton Hospital in London.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

The Tao and water as metaphor

Tao, illustration by author

"The Tao which Taoism knows, and with which art is concerned, is a seamless web of unbroken movement and change, filled with undulations, waves, patterns of ripples and temporary 'standing waves' like a river. Every observer is himself an integral function of this web. It never stops, turns back on itself, and none of its patterns of which we take conceptual snapshots are real in the sense of being permanent even for the briefest moment of time we can imagine. Like streaming clouds the objects and facts of our world are to the taoist simply shapes and phases which last long enough in one general form for us to consider them as units. In a strong wind clouds change their shapes fast. In the slowest of the winds of Tao the mountains and rocks of the earth change their shapes very slowly - but continuously and certainly. Men simply find it hard to observe the fact."

From Tao: The Chinese Philosophy of Time and Change by Philip Rawson and Laszlo Legeza. © 1973 Thames & Hudson Ltd., London. Reprinted by kind permission of Thames & Hudson.

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