My entire life I have suffered from heart disease so when I decided to design this painting, I wanted to portray the struggle I have had living with heart disease. I wanted to create a piece of art that would make people ask questions around my style and the hidden story. My heart has simply ruled my head for as long as I can remember, I was the little boy whose mother literally wrapped up in cotton wool with the constant fear of the unknown. My life as a Man, husband and father has been defined by my condition. Family days out or going on holiday must be carefully planned from parking, travelling and the environment. I decided to use the image as a reflection of my condition to encourage people to ask questions understand why as an artist, I have chosen to make this design. I have made my head my heart as this is what determines my thoughts and actions, my ribcage I have used as a protection for my heart and by showing my version of the lungs outside of the body it allow the audience to see what it looks like to have asthmatic attack.
Why the Tin Man?
Whilst researching a name for my finished art piece, I thought of the tinman’s journey to get a heart so I researched into his origin. It related so much to my artwork but with a very different spin.
In the original book by L. Frank Baum it is revealed that the Tin Woodman used to be a manof flesh and blood, but a Wicked Witch cursed his axe to cut off all his body parts, which ultimately caused him to lose his heart.
In reflection to myself a wicked curse was cast upon me deforming my heart and making it the most outstanding feature of my personality and soul. My journey can no longer be about wanting a heart as its to late for me. I have had to adjust to my heart and how it rules my head. Like the Tin Man it’s the organ that truly rules my body and defines who I am.
I love these lines of dialogue between the wizard and the Tin Man I have abbreviated them slightly to the more valuable points.
The Wizard: [To the Tin Man] As for you, my galvanized friend - you want a heart! You don't know how lucky you are not to have one. Hearts will never be practical until they can be made unbreakable.
The Tin Man: But I-- I still want one.
The Wizard: I take pleasure at this time in presenting you with a small token of our esteem and affection. And remember, my sentimental friend, that a heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others.
Tin Man: Look, it ticks!
Artist: [To the Tin Man] My heart is broken but at least I have one as well.