Bone Cold Environment

Bone Cold Environment

Digital Painting, 32" x 18"

Just as the planet is losing ice, we will lose bone mass over time as we age. However, the brittle collapse of the icebergs in our bodies is not always a product of time. Sometimes a bacterial imbalance is to blame. The bones in our bodies depend on the materials produced by bacteria. This painting depicts glaciers of ice and snowy trees in ways that allude to the bone-bacterial relationships found in our bodies. These visual allusions are emphasized to a greater extent in the detail images below.

Detail Images

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In this detail image, I have depicted glacier arches as bones that are cracking in the light of the distant sun as a visual metaphor for the relationship between the healthy maintenance of bone tissue and the bacteria in our microbiomes. When the balance of crucial bacteria in our bodies is disturbed, it can lead to the degradation of our bones. Without these bacteria, the structural integrity of our bodies is prone to melting away like ice in the sun.

Digital Painting, 16" x 9"

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The bones in our bodies depend on the materials produced by bacteria. Species in the genera of Bacteroides and Clostridia produce short-chain fatty acids which stimulate bone growth. Bacteria and Vitamin K work together with our cells to build up the layers of bones in our bodies. New therapies for osteoporosis are being researched which use probiotics and prebiotics to enhance the maintenance of our bones. In this detail painting, I depict the bacteria listed above and use color language to link them to the trees behind the glaciers. The bacteria of our microbiome exist amongst the landscape of our bones, just as the these trees are in the backdrop of the snowy arches of ice.

Digital Painting, 16" x 9"