The X‑ray Shelter

by Julie Adamson-Miller

The X-ray Shelter was designed by artist-in-residence, sculptor and community artist, Julie Adamson-Miller. Installed in the Tupper Link, it was composed of hundreds of x-rays stitched together to form the skin that covered a compact greenhouse frame structure. It served as a chamber for self-reflection, with those who entered the shelter sharing their responses.

Once inside the installation, viewers could readily see the flesh-and-bone anatomical details of the arms, legs, pelvis and abdomen of the many patients who donated their x-rays for this shelter.  

The body is a temple

In Julie's view, "the x-rays lit from the outside mimic the appearance of stained glasss and bring to mind that the body is a temple which under the right conditions can mend and heal."

That was, in fact, how various medical students responded to the art installation. One first-year medical student stated that The X-ray Shelter "felt like a spiritual place—a calm, meditative space on the body. The body really is our temple, our home, and yet we often take our bodies and our health for granted. I liked the subtle message of The X-ray Shelter—it really is a good thing to take a few moments to reflect on our bodies in this way."

Read a Chronicle Herald article (April 25, 2011) about Julie and her art installations for the Medical Humanities-HEALS program [PDF - 388 kB].