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The beginning – CT

CT עשיתי (I made a CT)

A reimagining of “self,” by Michal Saar-Bleiweiss

A few years ago, I became ill with Nephrostomy and had to undergo surgery. I was sitting with my husband, Mark, at a clinic in Ramat Aviv, Israel, in the office of a professor who specializes in CT* decoding. There, on two huge screens, for the first time I saw my body from the inside, and it was at this moment that my creative impulse arose.

The images before me were entirely in black and white, devoid of personality or character. There was no sign of the Michal that was me, and I felt a great desire and need to take these images to reinstate Michal, the person. When we returned home, I was curious about how I would feel when I looked at the images again—but this time on my computer screen. What I saw created an emotional storm within me.

This storm opened my “third eye,” enabling me to look inside myself. In my imagination I saw colors, dimensions, and expressive features, such as eyes. This was probably my way of internalizing my new reality, digesting what is going on inside me and brushing off my fears and pain. I wanted and needed to wake up each morning with a new smile and the ability to cope.

Mark accompanied me on this journey, and he continues to do so, strengthening me when it is difficult and encouraging me to carry on with my coping mechanisms and my imagination in my inner self.

Until very recently, I had shared my emotional journey and the images in my mind with only a handful of people. I had never really stopped to ask why this was. Perhaps I had not wanted to startle people or to reveal what I was really feeling.

One of the few people I did share it with was a medical professor, who is also an artist in his own right. He introduced me to Harmony software, a simple drawing software program that enables the user to scribble and draw (primarily in black and white) with several types of brushes.

Having released the pain from the CT images, I found myself opening the next chapter in my imagination—creating digital collages.