Victor Topping

Officer’s Uniforms, digital embroidery, digital fabric print, felt. 2005-2007

2nd Lieut Victor Topping sustained serious burns as a result of a flying accident. The back of his first uniform describes his initial condition on admission to the plastic surgery unit. The mass of text is digitally embroidered on fragments of burned fabric which are stitched together with coarse blue thread. Embroidered and printed pocket details depict his early condition and proposed surgery. The sleeves are burned considerably to acknowledge that pilots with facial burns usually sustain major burns to the hands and legs also. Digital shoulder embroideries depict proposed skin grafting of skin flaps from behind the ears to the cheeks. The facial garment illustrates this movement of tissue. The chest pedicle flap is cut ready for tubing and connecting to the face for later grafting.

Topping 2 continues the story with the back embroidery of the details from the ‘crash cards’ and the report into the investigation into his crash. The chest pedicle flap has been tubed and connected to the nose.

The face piece for Topping 2 illustrates multiple surgical procedures. The chin graft is in place from the chest pedicle tube that is then raised to the nose. In addition a small forehead flap is lowered to repair the lower left eyelid. Most unusual though, is the tubed scalp flap lifted from the top of the head, ear to ear and swung down to just above the eyes to carry small areas of hairy scalp to replace the eyebrows. Once the eyebrows ‘bed in, the tubed flap is opened and returned to the scalp.



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