Following the success of last year’s virtual gallery, the exhibition returns online to allow anyone across the nation – and the globe – to be immersed in the wonders of biomedical research.
From flying through a 3D scan of the brain to witnessing a white blood cell trap an invading pathogen – prepare to be taken on a visual journey through inner space that reveals the imagination and creativity of scientists as they work to solve some of the world’s most critical health problems.
The 20 still and moving images are the finalists from WEHI’s 2022 Art of Science competition, with winners judged by CEO and founder of Indigenous not-for-profit DeadlyScience, Corey Tutt OAM.
Art of Science is the brainchild of former WEHI director Professor Suzanne Cory, who launched the first competition for WEHI staff and students in 1997.
It has since evolved to become an annual public display of artwork, providing exclusive ‘behind-the-scenes’ insights into the key scientific discoveries being unearthed at WEHI, in areas including COVID-19, infectious diseases, malaria and cancer.
WEHI Director Professor Doug Hilton AO said Art of Science shows the beauty and wonder in how researchers work to unravel complex medical problems, to ensure more people can live healthier for longer.
“Science is about more than numbers and data – there is an incredible amount of imagination and creativity involved in delivering meaningful outcomes for human health,” Professor Hilton said.
“Through the beauty of science, we can inspire the next generation of the brightest scientific minds.
“Just as we’ve all been captivated by the remarkable images of deep space from the James Webb Space Telescope at NASA, these images reveal hidden inner worlds and capture biological insights in spectacular detail that are bound to also leave the public in awe.”
A specially-commissioned original 15-minute soundscape composed by students in the Interactive Composition program at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, University of Melbourne, will play in the virtual Art of Science gallery.
Guest Judge Corey Tutt OAM praised the finalists for the power of their images to illustrate the complexity and fragility of life, and the promise of medical research.
In May this year, WEHI struck a historic partnership with DeadlyScience, expanding the Institute’s long-standing commitment to supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander scientists.
Tutt said it was an honour to judge the 2022 competition, especially in a year where the theme focuses on inspiring the budding scientists of the future.
“Every single child in Australia deserves the opportunity to fall in love with STEM,” Mr Tutt said.
“Initiatives like the DeadlyScience-WEHI partnership and the Art of Science exhibition are some of the ingredients we need to fuel this scientific passion and help make science more accessible to the public.
“As someone who is extremely passionate about igniting the scientific flame in the next generation, it is wonderful see WEHI’s pioneering commitment to do the same.”
Mr Tutt chose PhD student Melody Leong’s ‘Interweb of the Mind’, which depicts two different types of living nerve cells grown in the laboratory, as the winner in the Still Image category.
‘Thymic coral reef’ by PhD student Kelin Zhao received the Moving Image first prize, for its presentation of a three-dimensional ‘map’ of the thymus, an organ essential for immune function.
‘The (not so micro)glia’ by Dr Matthias Mulazzani and ‘The tree of life’ by Kelin Zhao won second and third place in the Moving Image category.
‘At ease’ by Dr Bianca Capaldo came second place in the Still Image category, while ‘Through the looking glass’ by PhD student Sabrina Lewis won third place.
Visitors to the exhibition are invited to vote for their favourite image in the People’s Choice award.
Explore the virtual Art of Science gallery www.wehi.edu.au/artofscience
M: +61 475 751 811