Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Photograph of Royal Veterinary College specimen is Overall Winner at 2015 Wellcome Image Awards

This photograph, taken by Michael Frank, is of a 40-year-old specimen from the Lanyon Anatomy Museum of the Royal Veterinary College has just been selected as Image of the Year 2015 by the Wellcome Trust. 

The photograph is part of a project between Michael and Nick Short, Head of the eMedia Unit at the RVC, to bring new perspectives to a selection of specimens at the Lanyon Anatomy Museum. The specimen, a preserved uterus of a pony, approximately five months into pregnancy with the foetus still attached, has been preserved in formalin and was photographed through its Perspex container.

The RVC is honoured to have won this prestigious award especially in the light of such stunning competition. We hope that through our photographic techniques, we have managed to capture the magic of these old anatomy specimens in a new digital format.  Our passion has been to bring these specimens back to life and create a unique resource which will be available for students of anatomy to study and appreciate for many generations to come.

Michael Frank commented “I am delighted that this image has been chosen as the 2015 Wellcome Image Awards overall winner. This project has involved many hours working with Nick Short at the RVC. Our vision was to capture these incredible specimens which have sat for many years on the shelves of the Lanyon Anatomy Museum. Using sophisticated photographic techniques, we were able to rejuvenate these special dissections and make them available to a whole new audience of students, academics and the public. I like to think that this digital format is a fitting tribute to all the skill of past generations of anatomists in creating these resources and the many generations of vets who have benefited from studying them.

In addition to the winning image, another image from the collaboration between Michael and Nick was also shortlisted, the reticulum (stomach chamber) of a goat. The RVC completed a hat-trick of shortlisted entries, with PhD student Sophie Regnault’s 3D image of a preserved lizard specimen also making the final twenty. These successes are reflective of the larger initiative led by the eMedia team at the RVC to bring anatomy online. Full details of their work can be found on their website.

Picture Editor of BBC Focus magazine, James Cutmore, who was a member of the judging panel, said: “As far as standout images go, the image of the horse’s uterus with the foetus still inside was incredible and just sticks in my mind. It evokes many different emotions at once. It’s fascinating, sad, macabre, almost brutal. Yet the subject is also delicate, detailed and beautiful. The image shows us a large and magnificent creature reduced to this sad, fragile and half-formed creation, which I find very humbling.”

Another judge, Tim Smit, Founding Director of the Eden Project described the winning image as “hypnotic, like a Hieronymus Bosch painting…only it is real and truly marvellous.”

From March 19th 2015 all the winning images will be exhibited at eleven science centres, museums and galleries, from the Eden Project in Cornwall to Satrosphere in Aberdeen, and as far afield as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Koch Institute), USA, will display the images in their own styles to spark imaginations everywhere.

The images will also be displayed in the window of the Wellcome Trust headquarters in London, and will be made available on the
Wellcome Image Awards website. They already feature in Wellcome Images collections, where they can be accessed and used along with more than 40,000 other contemporary biomedical and clinical images. The Awards were established in 1997 to reward contributors to the collection for their outstanding work.

The following venues will be exhibiting the 2015 Wellcome Image Award winners:
·         At-Bristol
·         Cambridge Science Centre
·         Dundee Science Centre
·         Glasgow Science Centre
·         Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Koch Institute), USA
·         Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI),  Manchester
·         Satrosphere, Aberdeen
·         Techniquest, Cardiff
·         The Eden Project, Cornwall
·         The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, USA

·         W5, Belfast

No comments: