Zooming In

With an ever increasing interest in the internal workings of the human body in search for an answer to the symptoms I experience, I have become interested in it on a cellular level. I have been creating cells experiments with ink and surgical spirit, but would like to be able to look at my own samples under the microscope.

I don’t have access to a high end microscope yet, but I purchased a small hand held microscope that zooms in x120. This is far from being able to see cells, but getting a closer look at the affects of my condition may help put a new angle on my experience and possibly find new design elements for my work.

Scars ©Hollie Woodward 2017

One of the symptoms I experience with fibromyalgia is phantom itches, where my skin is so sensitive to the smallest thing and becomes incredibly itchy, especially whilst I’m asleep and I uncontrollably scratch. As a result, I have numerous scars, particularly on my legs. When people see my scars they assume they had a nasty fall or accident, but it’s just from scratching myself. This is one of the very few ways that my fibromyalgia has manifested itself physically and noticeably to others. I took my scars under my little microscope and photographed with my phone the images they displayed. I wasn’t expecting too much as the skin looks near enough the same, but you can see the redness, and the cracks in the skin. These would make really interesting textures for work.

Bleeding ©Hollie Woodward 2017

I have a lot of these cuts and they bleed regularly, so put that under the microscope. In order to see anything clearly with this microscope, the light inside has to be switched on, which reflected off the blood and produced images not as useful as the ones of the scars. Some of the colours this light causes though are interesting, a possible colour palette for future illustrations.

Bloody fingertips ©Hollie Woodward 2017

This blood then got onto my hands, so zoomed into my fingertips. The blood seeping through my fingerprints really highlights them, with small dots of oil shining in the light. I would like to try drawing over the tops of these images to create a mixed media piece, combining my illustrations of cells and creatures with this photography. Although it’s not as close up as I would’ve liked, but its gives me an insight into just how much damage just one symptom is doing to my body.

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