Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Despite All My Rage

A few months ago I was given scientific research from one of the St. Jude Scientist to create a piece based on what I was given. I was given a small bone scan of a mole rat. After speaking with the scientist I learned that they were turning on and off single genes in the developmental stage of growth to try and determine what causes cleft lips. With this in mind all I could think about was how complex this simple creature must be at that level. So when I started working on this I decided to break the image up and zoom in on small sections of the mouse in an attempt to show the beauty and complexity of these small sections. After I had broken the mouse into 28 pieces I rearranged the images to add even more complexity and create a puzzle like series of images that can be arranged to recreate the original image.

Despite All My Rage

Beauty comes from multiple places. Both physical and the beauty of the soul. As humans our souls are trapped in the body we are given. Some of the bodies are strong and powerful. Others are beautiful and delicate. But not all of them are perfect physically and the beauty they hold is within. Many people feel like rats in a cage in their bodies, they don’t know that the inner beauty can save a lost soul. With science we can see the inner beauty and hope to cure some of the physical to make the outer beauty match the inner.

    Mitchell Dunnam

Thursday, June 13, 2013

More Xrays

I have been playing with my Xrays and they have been making some awesome pieces.

Just Skin & Bones

Throughout my life I have endured one hundred and ninety one broken bones, twenty-two surgeries and died twice due to complications during surgery. I have experienced both physical and mental pain due to my condition, Osteogenesis Imperfecta and because of the ways people have treated me. I am using my work to both help people become aware of these internal issues and to try and allow others to see life from my point of view.

Seeing someone with a physical handicap can be mutually uncomfortable for both the viewer and the subject. Not necessarily through rudeness but rather out of pure curiosity, others may stare at a person in a wheelchair or with a physical disability. These individuals don't realize the pain they cause by staring and making a person the object of their gaze.

Using both photographs and X-rays, I have created a full body self-portrait. My illustration conveys the narrative of my life through images of the broken bones that are the source my disfigurement. The X-rays speak of the pain in my past while the image of my skin speaks of me in the present. The titanium rods in my bones showing inner strength and ability to endure the pain. My eye looks out at the viewer and to the pain that is yet to come.

The tattoo on my right arm symbolizes my shattered bones with forty-eight ravens. Each raven represents 4 broken bones, my twenty-two surgeries are symbolized with plus signs, and my two deaths signified with feathers. Allowing the viewer to see my entire body down to the bone will remind them that we are all the same, just skin and bones.

-Mitchell Dunnam

Here are some photos from the show.