The southern Arizona landscape
reminded Dr. André Bruwer and his wife Hilary of their
birthplace, South Africa. The couple loved hiking into
the Sonoran desert, it was home away from home. Both
delighted in the cacti, desert plants and terrain--which
was reminiscent of South Africa. Along the hikes, Dr. Bruwer would collect plants or objects from nature that
seemed interesting. Unbeknownst to Dr. Bruwer, it would
be from these hikes that he began collecting specimens
to X-ray for Skiagraphics™.
Dr. André Bruwer’s roots
in his native country of South Africa go back over 300
years to his French Huguenot forbears. He earned a
medical degree from the University of Cape Town and
served in the South African army as a doctor during
World War II. During his time in the army he read the
Doctors Mayo. This inspired him to move his wife and
young son to America and study at the Mayo Clinic in
Rochester, Minnesota in 1947. In 1957 he moved again, to
Tucson, Arizona. Dr. Bruwer would go on to practice
radiology in Tucson for over thirty years.
While doing research in the
1950’s on his two-volume history of radiology, Classic Descriptions in Diagnostic
Dr. Bruwer came across crude images of plants and shells
taken by early experimenters with X-rays. After spending
years researching, Dr. Bruwer became an expert in the
relatively new field. When he acquired a small and
highly sensitive X-ray machine from Hewlett Packard™ for
a research project, he began taking X-rays of objects he
had brought in from hiking or even from his garden. The
X-ray images created in the machine fascinated Dr.
Bruwer, and soon he began adding his own artistic touch.
This would be the beginning of Skiagraphics™.
Skiagraphics™ allows a new
view into nature. Seedpods reveal their tiny tenants.
Petals and leaves, rendered transparent by the X-rays,
overlap in pleasing patterns. And, the sealed and
usually invisible compartments of a Chambered Nautilus
shell are on open display.