Video: Science and art combine to mark Birmingham’s role in 120 years of X-Rays

on November 8, 2016

A collaborative Birmingham film project is celebrating the 120th anniversary of the first medical X-Ray.

X-Ray: The Unknown Quantity aims to shine a spotlight on the city’s substantial contribution to radiography, both past and present.

Birmingham’s Major John Hall-Edwards made the first X-Ray in 1896 and now Birmingham City University, Birmingham Children’s Hospital and Birmingham Hippodrome will celebrate the landmark.

Helen White, head of the radiography department at the university, said: “We were delighted to work with the three talented artists on this digital project that fuses art and science in a truly innovative way.

“This evocative new film and soundscape encapsulates the pioneering nature of Major John Hall-Edwards’ work 120 years ago, while allowing us as modern radiography professionals to view our discipline through fresh eyes.”

The short film incorporates contemporary dance, stop animation and X-Ray imagery.

It has been created by Birmingham-based sound artist Justin Wiggan, British Institute of Radiology artist in residence Hugh Turvey and contemporary dance artist Mickael Riviere.

Graham Callister, director of creative programmes at the Birmingham Hippodrome, said: “We wanted to commission a new artwork that would draw attention to Hall-Edwards’ work and Birmingham’s role in this important medical breakthrough with worldwide implications.

“It’s also an opportunity to highlight how the city continues to be a world leader in medical imaging today.”

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