The proposal asked for projects related to the periodic table. Each artist is to select one element to interpret. And, for an interesting twist, we have been asked to create something using unusual or radical materials in our work. This is quite a challenge for me because I just love textiles. It pushes the edge of the meaning of quilt. We are to take unusual materials and put them in layers and "stitch" them together conceptually and literally.
When this call for entries came up, I knew I had to try. I used to be a research chemist, then chemistry teacher. I LOVE the periodic table. It would be so hard to choose just one element to propose. Meanwhile, life brought together a confluence of events.
My inspiration for this project...
1. I am reading the Emperor of All Maladies. It is about the history of cancer. It is fascinating story full of heavy detailed facts personal stories, and political and science intrigue, all while combating biology. A perfect combination!
2. It was time for my annual mammogram.
3. Saw a great TED talk from Deborah Rhoades....Deborah Rhodes: A tool that finds 3x more breast tumors, and why it's not available to you
Except that talk is old now, and her new molecular breast imaging IS available now! And not used much because most patients are unaware of the type of breast tissue that they have. Mammograms can not detect tumors in dense breast tissue, it is like looking for a white mitten in a blizzard. So, how do you detect these tumors? Molecular Breast Imaging, MBI for short, and it uses a very special radioisotope, Technetium 99m. (Do you know what type of breast tissue you have?)
4. And last, I know too many people affected by breast cancer, some survivors and many who did not survive. I am dedicating this project to them all, and their families, and their friends.
My proposal was accepted! All that was left was to take my ideas and meld them into a work of art. I leave you with a glimpse into my project. This was the stage where I learned what a breadboard was, and how to use it.