Dr Simon Brebner
I couldn’t draw well at school, and therefore wasn’t good at ‘Art’. Since then, however, I’ve enjoyed bolting three-dimensional works together. I blessedly still don’t have to draw anything, but can use my imagination and discipline to make pieces that, I hope, eventually feel balanced.
My ‘lightbox skeleton’ work had been kicking around my head for some time. As a rural GP, we took x-rays and had a large library of old films from all the injuries and mishaps over the years. I’d wanted to create a composite skeleton from them, wondering what the end result might look like.
I had an old x-ray viewing lightbox. I took photos of a number of x-rays and loaded the images onto the computer, then used Photoshop to create the final image. (It was a struggle to find femurs, as those injuries got flown straight to Dunedin from the ski fields, bypassing the Wanaka GPs.)
Someone on TradeMe was advertising LED lightboxes, and he customised a lightbox to my required specifications. A local sign-writer patient printed out the image and affixed it to the lightbox for me.
There’s an awkwardness and vulnerability created by the inevitable mis-matching of xrays which I really like. It was probably this feeling that led me to add the red freehand drawing over the heart, as well as the ambiguous title.
My Chest Hurts now hangs in my living room. It’s a strangely sad piece. I have a lot of empathy for the broken person in it.
For some reason, I like juxtaposition. Quite a few of my pieces explore this theme. For example, dolls set against old burnt newspaper and rusting tin…
…humans impossibly farming dinosaurs……
… and gentle lambs existing next to fighting soldiers:
Dr Simon Brebner is a GP who lives in Wanaka, New Zealand.