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Life-changing medical research embraces the power of art 

This article featured in Illuminate Newsletter Spring ‘23
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Key Researchers
Black and white photo of Aysha Al-Ani
Dr Aysha Al-Ani
Gastroenterologist
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Dr Richard Birkinshaw
Senior Research Officer
Black and white photo of Claire Marceaux
Senior Research Officer
Prof Suzanne Cory
Honorary Distinguished Research Fellow
Caleb Dawson
Caleb Dawson
Senior Research Officer
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Dr Marjan Hadian-Jazi
Research Officer
Black and white photo of Lachlan Whitehead
Senior Research Officer

Fantastical, mystical and mesmerising, the 2023 Art of Science exhibition presents the most fascinating scientific art from some of Australia’s most creative and visionary researchers, working to solve the world’s most complex medical challenges. 

At a glance
Art of Science is back in 2023 with a new online gallery and contemporary design.
WEHI researchers reveal a peek into the latest biomedical research through a range of stunning and captivating still and moving images.
This year’s guest judge is The Age and Sydney Morning Herald national science reporter, Liam Mannix.
Immerse in the world of scientific research

WEHI’s 2023 Art of Science online gallery offers you the chance to be immersed in the wonder of scientific research and discover the powerful story behind each stunning image.

These images reveal a hidden inner world of intricate biological details, such as a growing nerve cell, blood vessels in the lung or even milk-producing cells in the breast. This is the beauty of science and life-changing medical research.

The 16 still and moving images are the finalists from WEHI’s 2023 Art of Science competition, with winners judged by The Age and Sydney Morning Herald’s national science reporter Liam Mannix.

The launch of this year’s online gallery coincides with National Science Week (12-20 August) and shines a spotlight on WEHI’s research, from understanding the drivers of cancer and malaria to unravelling the mysteries of cell death.

This year’s Art of Science will be WEHI director Professor Doug Hilton AO’s last under his leadership, with Prof Hilton appointed the next Chief Executive of CSIRO commencing on 29 September.

“In over three decades at WEHI and 14 years as director, I have been privileged to watch Art of Science grow and to witness the relentless passion, dedication and innovation of our researchers”
Prof Doug Hilton
A WEHI tradition

“Through their creativity, our scientists inspire the future generations that will continue to drive the research and discovery we need to solve our most critical health challenges” says Prof Hilton.

“WEHI’s research aims to ensure more people can live healthier for longer. Along the way, we want to share the beauty and wonder of our work and reveal to the world the intricate complexities of pioneering medical research.”

Art of Science has a historical background dating back to 1997, when the competition was created by former WEHI director Professor Suzanne Cory.

Building upon WEHI’s successful collaboration with the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music at the University of Melbourne last year, and the overwhelmingly positive response received, we are delighted to announce our renewed partnership in 2023.

This year’s collaboration is taking things to the next artistic level, with students composing a unique soundscape for each of the seven moving images.

Winners revealed

Liam Mannix, multi-award-winning national science reporter from The Age and Sydney Morning Herald, is this year’s Art of Science guest judge. An accomplished writer, Mannix won the 2020 Walkley Award for Short Feature Writing and the 2019 Eureka Prize for Science Journalism.

Heart of the Storm by Farzaneh Shojaee is the winner of the still image category, with Mannix calling it “a visually striking image that draws one’s attention instantly, and then as you look closer only becomes more and more detailed”.

The winner in the moving images category is Hanadi Hoblos’ Four Seasons. As described by Mannix: “This work turns living cells into dancers that float and sway on the breeze, dancing together or alone. Beautiful, elegant, and captivating.”

Other award winners in 2023 are:

  • Oh it Glows, Adipose by Caleb Dawson (Second Place – Still Image)
  • On Fire by Claire Marceaux and Aysha Al-Ani (Third Place – Still Image)
  • Disco by Sabrina Lewis (Second Place – Moving Image)
  • Imagined Protein by Lachlan Whitehead, Marjan Hadian-Jazi and Richard Birkinshaw (Third Place – Moving Image)

Explore the 2023 Art of Science online gallery: www.wehi.edu.au/artofscience

Header Image: Heart of the Storm by Farzaneh Shojaee

First published on 10 August 2023
This article featured in Illuminate Newsletter Spring ‘23
WEHI Authors
Black and white photo of Aysha Al-Ani
Dr Aysha Al-Ani
Gastroenterologist
Black and white photo of Richard Birkinshaw
Dr Richard Birkinshaw
Senior Research Officer
Black and white photo of Claire Marceaux
Senior Research Officer
Prof Suzanne Cory
Honorary Distinguished Research Fellow
Caleb Dawson
Caleb Dawson
Senior Research Officer
Black and white photo of Marjan Hadian-Jazi
Dr Marjan Hadian-Jazi
Research Officer
Black and white photo of Lachlan Whitehead
Senior Research Officer
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