Radiation to Radiance
Dr. Cynthia Miller
Reconciling bombs, atomic radiation, nuclear fallout and war has been a life-long process. How do I resolve the massive destruction, pollution and annihilation with the amazing beauty and awesome burst of light of exploding bombs? How do I use this burst of light to birth a new world with a positive future? My father worked as an engineer alongside Dr. Robert Oppenheimer on the Manhattan Project (the project that envisioned and created the atom bomb) starting in 1943 and continuing with the Atomic Energy Commission until 1959. He worked at Los Alamos, Alamogordo, Oak Ridge, built Hanford, Jet Propulsion Lab, and Lawrence Livermore Labs, and was project director at Eniwetok at the South Pacific Proving Grounds. He helped build and watched 131 atomic and hydrogen bombs explode. In 1995 as the radiation was dripping out my body; I started painting with my hands. Colors pulsated in my body demanding to appear on paper.
Shock Waves, July 9, 1996 – “My cells emit a sharp, needle-like energy, similar to electric shock waves radiating through barbed wire in each cell.” Dr. Cynthia Miller
Five years after I created the pieces of art in this project, I inherited the written documentation and bomb certificates about my father’s involvement in atomic and hydrogen bombs.
Operation Redwing, Dakota, June 25, 1956, exploded at the Eniwetok Proving Ground. The roar of the shock waves was felt over one hundred miles away.
In 2004 I discovered the declassified bomb photos on the Internet. I was amazed to see the similarities between my art and the bombs my father helped build and witnessed explode. In 2008, while working with gratitude to transform the radiation toxicity in my body, I started taking photos of flowers. This led to my book, The Art of Radical Gratitude ~ transforming consciousness. The flower photos are part of the journey using gratitude to transform the plutonium in my body. These flower photos exposed a resemblance to the bomb photos. Recent photos of light are the finishing pieces to the installation.