The calendar: April 2019 - September 2020
April 2019 I Raquel Riera, Spain
May 2019 I Ann-Kathrin Müller, Germany
Rescuing The Endangered Mountain
June 2019 I Ronnie Wong, Hong Kong
July 2019 I Alexandra Kolomeets, Russia
The Bronchial Tree
August 2019 I Mina Kang, Australia
Tree of Life
September 2019 I Harriet Burbeck, USA
October 2019 I Suzanne Siroka, Czechia
November 2019 I Pranisha Shrestha, Nepal
Blue Note of Creator
December 2019 I Vio Choe, South Korea
January 2020 I Wu Ping, Hong Kong, China
February 2020 I Szandra Szonday, Hungary
March 2020 I Vajra Pancharia, India
Working Together, We Can Achieve Anything
April 2020 I Guillermo Moreno Mirallas, Spain
May 2020 I Giulia Zappa, Italy
June 2020 I Heinz Mödler, South Africa
Celebration of Life
July 2020 I Sonia Gomez, Mexico
August 2020 I Elham Abdelbary, Egypt
September 2020 I Surgeon Do, Japan
Celebrating a global anniversary: 30 years ELSO
In times, when building walls becomes fashionable again, when unions are in danger of being shattered, when segregation is regarded to be more important than federation, ELSO has proved that true and lasting progress is only possible with global cooperation. After many years of resistance and disbelief, today ECMO is accepted in severe respiratory and circulatory failure in all age groups from neonates to adult patients. This new technology, long disregarded as unnecessary and even dangerous, has saved numerous lives. Many consider it as the most important innovation in recent intensive care medicine.
In all probability, this would not have come true without ELSO. The Extracorporeal Life Support Organization has been established in Ann Arbor in October 1989. Since, it has spread globally; new chapters have been initiated with EuroELSO, Asia-Pacific ELSO, Latin-America ELSO and South West Asia and Africa ELSO. This year, ELSO celebrates its 30th anniversary.
Progress depends on people. People, who are able to transgress borders of common belief, people, who are looking for new solutions, people, who stand up for a better future. ELSO united pioneers of critical care from around the world. ELSO made cooperation and exchange of ideas possible. Above all, ELSO became the foundation for friendships across the continents.
Progress depends on people. On people like Prof. Robert Bartlett, without whom many things would not have happened. Bob has been crucial for the development of ECMO. Bob always believed in the potential of this technique to decisively improve therapeutic options for those, who most dearly need it. Bob unremittingly worked for its technical refinement and its propagation in intensive care medicine. And, what´s more, Bob has become a dear friend to many around the world.
We believe this is a true reason to celebrate and to give a tribute to Prof. Bob Bartlett. To celebrate our global anniversary, we have initiated this worldwide project, which expresses our commitment to ECMO and our gratitude to Bob:
ART meets ECMO, fine artistry meets highly developed medical treatment.
Artworks from different continents, mirroring the cultural specifics of each country and reflecting the life-saving technology of ECMO shall be united in this calendar, which will accompany us all from Barcelona to Waikoloa Village, Hawaii.
ECMO brings people together.
We hope this art project helps to serve this great goal.
Statements - Thoughts & stories behind the artwork
We often take life and health for granted, but not all of us have the privilege of an easy journey. Some of us might struggle with problems and challenges like for example an illness. Thanks to modern medicine and thanks to ECMO, many recovered patients today enjoy a rich quality of life. My artwork illustrates this idea of prolonged life, drawing inspiration from the vibrant city of Barcelona, its people and its art. It aims to represent the happiness we feel when our condition allows us to enjoy every moment of life to its fullest – especially when we share those moments with the people we love.
Raquel Riera Baldó is an artist and illustrator based in Barcelona. Besides collaborating with businesses, she enjoys illustrating children tales and takes part in artistic fairs.
To celebrate the 80th birthday of Bob Bartlett, this portrait is a tribute to his spirit and skill that lead to this year’s 30th anniversary of the ELSO community. Abstracted intensive care appliances throw a shine in the backdrop. The detailed and accurate execution of the portrait remind of the German interwar art movement Neue Sachlichkeit (New Objectivity).
Ann-Kathrin Müller is a visual artist with a focus in realistic painting and conceptual drawing, both characterised by an attention to detail. She divides her time between Germany and Scotland.
Rescuing The Endangered Mountain
The painting shows mountains and their nearby streams surrounded by the ECMO circuit. In Chinese tradition, the mountain and the stream are signs of life. The presence of the ECMO circuit travelling around them alludes to the role of ECMO in supporting endangered lives. There are two men and several animals on the left lower part of the painting, representing the support of the family members during the ECMO journey.
Ronnie Wong is a painter, sculptor and illustrator from Hong Kong. His art is characterised by a combination of cartoonish humour and Chinese calligraphy.
This work is realised in the traditional Russian icon painting style. The image shows the patient’s struggle with the disease and the help by ECMO. In this painting, everything is symbolic. The idea is based on the image of St. George the Victorious, who personifies the patient. The serpentine represents the disease. The red tube, turning into a spear, is a symbol of victory over the disease, while the blue tube is part of the tree of life – an ECMO machine. The whiteness of the rider’s clothes reminds of the patient’s clothes, and the red cloak on his shoulders is his torment on the road to recovery.
Alexandra Sergeevna Kolomeets is a professional iconographer living and working in Russia. She was awarded the title of “Spiritual name of Kuban” in 2017.
The Bronchial Tree
The bronchial tree, the tree of life, is drowning in water and has become near lifeless with its flowers helplessly wilting, much like that of severe heart and lung failure patients in the intensive care unit. These patients rely on minute to minute ventilatory support. Through the intervention with the ECMO machine, many patients are given the chance of a second life. This image is inspired by the blossoming flowers emblematic of Australia and New Zealand such as the bottlebrush, Sturt’s desert rose, golden wattle, Wahlenbergia and the Kowhai flower.
Mina Kang is a medical student in New South Wales. She would love to explore incorporating her passion for drawing with her medical background to produce realistic as well as surreal anatomical illustrations.
Tree of Life
Paintings of rural idylls are common in American artwork, and represent a cultural memory of the simple pleasures of childhood. The tree here produces oxygen, which supports the life of the living creatures around it. The boy lies comfortably under it, his lungs using its oxygen to keep him alive. Blood oxygenation takes place on the microscopic level, usually outside of our conscious awareness. When this process stops working, the ECMO machine is there to save lives. Access to this lifesaving technology gives us the same peace of mind this boy and his dog enjoy.
Harriet Burbeck is an illustrator based in New Orleans. She makes pen and ink and watercolor illustrations that have strong fantasy elements. Before she started her career as an illustrator, she worked as an Emergency Medical Technician.
I chose the heart and lungs as central points of this image. The heart as a symbol of our soul, the lungs as a symbol of inspiration from on high. The Czech heart also reminds of a memorial to Czech Playwright and Statesman Václav Havel who is loved by the Czech people as an icon for the struggle for democracy and freedom. My work shows the cooperation of professionals who operate from within their humaneness, between highly developed technology and blessings from heaven. Often under intense time pressure, the physicians’ concentration and skill brings precision into chaos. I made this image digitally and in layers to express that in complex situations also the most technical layer is involved in the success of the whole.
Suzanne Siroka is a visual artist practising painting and drawing. She lives and works in both Czechia and Switzerland.
Using traditional thangka art style of Nepal which originated from Tibetan and Buddhist practices, the central character is presented as the “Medicine Buddha”. Known as the master of remedies and a great healer, Buddha is illustrated seated cross-legged on a bloomed lotus flower, a symbol of spiritual purity, and holds a symbolic ECMO medical machine. Two pipelines extend and connect to an individual in dire need of medicinal nectar for treatment. Buddha is surrounded by well-wishers who guide the ECMO lifelines to the individual, thus presenting a complete cycle of the healing process of the ECMO technology.
Pranisha Shrestha is an animation designer, illustrator and visual designer living and working in Kathmandu.
Blue Note Of Creator
The Korean Pine is the dominant tree in Korea’s national forests. Its long trunk, transporting vital fluid and nutrition to the Pine’s crown, resembles magnified hollow fibres of a membrane lung. Blue oxygen within the capillaries diffuses to the surrounding red blood cells, which recuperate and restore life to the body.
Vio Choe is a visual artist based in South Korea and the USA and regularly exhibits his work internationally.
Breathing with a diseased lung is as difficult as breathing under water. In this image, the streams of goldfish represent ECMO blood flows. The goldfish leaves the body without oxygen and energy (blue) and gets oxygenated (red) after passing the ECMO circuit. In the Chinese culture, the goldfish symbolises prosperity. Two Chinese letters meaning “Force” and “Gas” are in the top of the image. Combining the letters into one word, its meaning changes to “Energy”. Propelling force and oxygen are provided by ECMO, giving energy to keep our patients alive. The phoenix and the dragon in the background are traditional Chinese magical creatures which bring good luck and blessings to those who see them. Here, I wish best of luck to all our ECMO patients and their families.
Penny White (Wu Ping) from Hong Kong is a medical professional and enjoys creating digital art.
My artwork is inspired by the authentic Hungarian embroideries from Rábaköz and the famous cartoon series “Hungarian folk tales” directed by Marcell Jankovics. With these botanical ornaments I would like to express the complexity and beauty of the human body and importance of the medical development and technology, the unity of interrelated biology and medical technology.
Szandra Szonday lives in Budapest. She is a social science lecturer and a circus researcher and has a keen interest in aesthetics.
The work “Samudra Manthan” (churning the nectar of immortality from the sea) draws a parallel between the Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) technology and the Indian mythology story of the Samudra Manthan: the Devas (deities) and the Asuras (demons) came together to churn out ‘Amrit’, the nectar of immortality (symbolic of the oxygenated blood), and separating it from the poison Halāhala (symbolic of the desaturated blood). This process of cleansing and purification is depicted through the traditional Indian Pattachitra painting in a miniature painting style.
Vajra Pancharia is a visual development artist, illustrator, design educator and award-winning animation filmmaker based in Bombay. He is currently involved in an Interactive experiential project, a visual medium for compelling storytelling.
Working Together, We Can Achieve Anything
In this work I describe how human knowledge and teamwork can achieve anything – even the most important: to save lives. My inspirations are the shapes and the colour palette of the Spanish artist Joan Miró, the children’s strokes of Javier Mariscal and, of course, Picasso’s Cubism in the way I was designing the perspective, overlapping ﬁgures and contexts in one single image. The result is a colourful composition, full of energy and vitality, where the heart is in the centre of the scene, levitating over the body. It is connected to the cardio support machine and surrounded by the physicians who make possible the miracle of saving lives.
Guillermo Moreno Mirallas is a multidisciplinary artist from Barcelona. One of his inspirations is an exploration of consciousness through physical experiences.
The illustration focuses on the main colours of the tubes used in ECMO diagrams, red and blue, and is made using an overlay of different scientific images, which show the functioning of the medical life support. My intent is to present an illustration that is delicate in the use of colours but intricate and complex in its form, where every element is recognizable but creates a completely new shape. As ECMO technology takes two tubes to recreate a delicate and fragile human function, by modulating the intensity of red and blue pastels it is possible to create articulated areas where the colours mix, fuse and change.
Giulia Zappa is a visual artist living and working in Brescia. Her artistic research is often linked to the passage of time and its suspension.
A young boy is admitted to the intensive care unit. He is seriously ill and ECMO is instituted. In this work the boy is comforted and supported by his trusted friend at his side – his lion. The lion not only comforts the boy but also challenges the viewer by looking straight in his or her eyes. His direct stare not allowing the observer to lose hope. The use of colour in the work adds a feeling of child-like happiness to the hope. Before the days of ECMO these emotions of hope and happiness would not have been possible.
Heinz Mödler is a cardiac anesthesist living in Cape Town. In his artistic work he uses photography as a base and develops the negatives into individual prints on silver emulsion.
Celebration of Life
This painting is about opportunities, worldwide mission and honoring a life of service for others. Butterflies represent the transformation from being a caterpillar, just as ECMO patients are given the opportunity of life. Monarch butterflies travel more than 4,000 kilometers from Canada to Mexico, one of nature’s most impressive migrations. Thirty monarch butterflies represent 30 years of Dr. Bartlett´s and ELSO´s effort of bringing ECMO to every corner of the world. Finally, 8 cempasuchitl flowers celebrate 8 decades of Dr. Bartlett’s life, founder of ECMO and ELSO. These flowers are a symbol of the impermanence and fragility of life.
Sonia Gomez is an architect, interior designer and visual artist based in Monterrey. In her work as a visual artist she explores the fragility of life and humankind.
A collage of four connected frameworks represents the connection between ancient Egyptian mythology and the surviving ECMO technology by representing three different gods. Imhotep, the first doctor and the god of medicine, is depicted giving the Oxygenator to Aten to spread its power of resurrection among all nations. Meanwhile, Isis, the protective mother, is depicted pumping oxygen and therefore blood throughout the lotus flower.
Elham Abdelbary is an interior designer, jewellery designer and photography specialist based in Cairo. Her range of skills also includes trainings in History of Art and in Theatre, Cinema and Television.
Kiriei is part of the Japanese art of paper cutting Kirie. It has the unique touch of the traditional papercut art. Kiriei means ‘to kill the shadow’. Looking at a Kiriei is said to fire imaginations and emotions. The title of this artwork, αναγεννησις (anagennēsis), means ‘rebirth’ and ‘regeneration’. The image shows Dame fortune of Medicine holding the artificial heart and lung in her left and right hands.
Life and Death – Light and Darkness.
‘Surgeon Do’ is the artist name of Dr. Terumasa Morita, an expert cardiovascular surgeon practising in Tokyo. His paper cut artworks celebrate parallels between art and surgery.