• Rosa O’Kane

Angioplasty is a procedure performed after a ‘heart attack’ to increase blood flow through a narrowed coronary artery. The groin is cannulated and a dye injected which shows on a special X-ray image or angiogram. A wire is inserted into the artery with a balloon on the end, to stretch the narrowed portion. The patient is mildly sedated and slightly restrained and  given the choice of watching the procedure on screen.


A visit to the landscape of the Delphi Valley in the West of Ireland was the inspiration for the use of water-mapping as a metaphor for the coronary circulation.





Hydrography of the heart 



The sky is an unbroken blue when his swing at the sixth

squeezes his chest.

The fairway far-off in the airless grip.

Encased in the Cath-Lab bed now he eyes

the grey shiver of his heart displayed on flat screen.

Rivers of dye flood the landscape

filling streams, finding strictures and parched pastures.

Branches filter back to brooks upstream.


Without warning a black wire worms its way

where children, some picking primroses

others ankle-deep in a cool creek

steady as stooped statues, falter

at the flick of a stickleback.

He reaches a tethered hand to rescue his heart.


Rosa O’Kane