Within this ever growing collection of images, MRI scans are produced with the cyanotype process from the 1800’s in order to represent the juxtaposition survivors of Encephalitis, (A rarely known, yet ever increasing neurological condition) often feel.
Created after intense dialogue with survivors and families whom have lost loved ones, Paul Wicks has created a haunting study into the form and function of the human brain; where only function has been observed in the past. Perhaps for the first time offering an insight into hidden disabilities utilising photography’s essence of the real, subtly informing the viewer of a biographical narrative as Paul suffered encephalitis in 2003; thus raising awareness of this severe risk to life.
Kindly donated by sufferers from across the world; transferred using digital process and then printed using traditional cyanotype techniques, MRI raises awareness that encephalitis respects no boundaries whether they be age, gender, ethnicity or location.
Obvious and subtle notions are included within the project; creating a beautiful representation of the human form, accessible to all making each image a saleable piece of unique art.
Magnetic Resonance Scans of sufferers at time of diagnosis, are presented in the 200 year old cyanotype process; this conflict of old and new representing the emotional and behavioural states survivors can feel, as they come to terms with the after affects on physical, emotional and social levels.
MRI represents a coming together of technologies from both science and art; the notion of the two schools historical conflict echoed within the final pieces creating further metaphor for survivors positions in their ‘new’ lives.
Form and function of the brain, life and death, old and new are available when viewing, as well as the physical movement of the brain within the skull as the brain swells; crossing borders into unknown territory, adding additional weight to metaphor’s already discovered within each piece.
The project represents a small selection of a much larger series of images kindly donated by sufferers across the world; transferred using digital process and then printed using traditional cyanotype techniques.
Working alongside the World Health Organisation, The Encephalitis Society UK, Cobalt Health, Dr Ava Easton and Dr Benedict Michael in order to verify factual evidence, the project shows scans of individuals from 3 months to 35 years of age, all genders, ethnicities and geographical locations are represented, including India, Canada, USA and the UK; Illustrating this brain disorder respects no borders or boundaries and is sadly on the rise.
Some subjects have beaten the odds and survived; some have sadly passed away.
Encephalitis, affects around 500,000 people each year, with additional tens of thousands undiagnosed, yet staggeringly 78% of people across the world have no knowledge of it what so ever.
No two patients react in the same way; children whom suffer from it in early life can take years for symptoms to manifest, leaving families in constant state of fear.
Following encephalitis, it is common for people to experience changes in their thinking, behaviour and feelings. These changes may make it difficult to take part in everyday activities such as work, driving, running a household, or making plans with friends or family.
Symptoms can include cognitive issues relating to mental processes such as
- Problem solving
- Decision making
- Planning and organisation
Emotional and Behaviour including
- Low mood
- Increased anxiety
- Mood swings
- Poor emotional regulation
- Difficulty controlling their movement
- Sensory changes
- Changes in sexual functioning
- Hormonal changes
This range of symptoms placing the sufferer in a state of conflict in virtually every aspect of their being; this conflict represented in ‘MRI’ by the conflicting technologies used in creating each piece. Cyanotype representing the old, being used to present the new; Magnetic Resonance Images.
Additional connotations included by the artist reference the conflict between the schools of science and art; the use of medical imagery born from science, produced with artistic intent; echoing Eder and Valenta’s groundbreaking radiographic portfolio ‘Versuche über Photographie mittelst der Röntgen’schen Strahlen’, created in 1896, whilst complimenting his contemporaries Marilene Oliver’s MRI sculpture and Nick Veasey’s X-Ray collections.
Memory Resonance Images
Magnetic Resonance Images are, for the first time available to be exhibited as a collection. The artist has produced many projects based upon mental health and brain damage; his first publication ‘What I Remember About Forgetting’ has been nominated for the Mack Photo-book prize 2019 by Photo monitor Magazine. Exhibitions include ‘Eye Candy ‘. Candid Arts, London. ‘Show You Know’ , Saatchi Galleries London and various locations UK wide.
Capitalising on his strong links with the international charity The Encephalitis Society and in turn their partners including The Guardian Newspaper, Greater London Councils, The World Health Organisation and University College Hospital London; Paul has created a network of interested backers and parties ready to support the exhibition and is currently in the process to find international venues to host events.
For exhibition enquires, and sales please contact the artist via email@example.com
About Paul Wicks
Born in 1972, Paul grew up among family and a tight knit community in Waterloo, South East London. Surrounded by tenacious, colourful characters who used humour as medicine, Paul developed a strong can-do attitude and the ability to see the funny in almost any situation.
This start in life can be seen in many of Paul’s pieces. The saying goes ‘if life gives you lemons, make lemonade’. His work is a collection of beautiful and poignant images equal to the fizziest, fruitiest, thirst quenching lemonade you could imagine.
In 2016 Paul exhibited 2 pieces of work at the prestigious Saatchi Gallery London as part of the ‘Show you know’ exhibition showing the plight of sufferers of Encephalitis
He has also exhibited and sold Art at various Kent Galleries and has been placed in the top ten of National Photographic Competitions and had the backing of organisations such as the NHS, Kent County Council, the Encephalitis Society and various agencies on a project involving raising the profile of disabled people.
Praise for Paul Wicks
‘His work is a poignant comment on how hidden disabilities do not convey the enormity of how hard everyday tasks can be.’
Jules Morgan. The Lancet.
‘My definition of good art is a good idea done well. Great art has an extra element though, it reaches into your soul and wrenches at something. It is a rare thing and something Paul Wicks has managed to do.’
William Mackenzie. Artist and blogger.
‘A very well written piece and great artwork from Paul Wicks, thank you for sharing.’
Andrew Pitt. Communications Coordinator, The Encephalitis Society