Masters Show Medical and Forensic Art

This year’s ‘Masters Show’ for the MSc’s in Medical and Forensic Art took place from August 22nd to 29th at the Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design (DJCAD), University of Dundee. Ten students took part in the exhibition, six from Medical Art and four from Forensic. The exhibition included an exciting range of final project work from animations and ibooks to aid in medical and patient education to an investigation of facial composite methods and even the life size, full body reconstruction of a nineteenth century pirate!

There were a number of awards for best exhibition and best students overall for both courses. Best exhibition for medical art was a tie between Catherine MacRobbie and Adrianna Lippy. Catherine’s project ‘Understanding Mature Cystic Teratoma’ was intended to create a discussion around this fascinating and unique pathology. Her exhibition included anatomically accurate wax models and beautiful etched glass images of MRI data which hung from the wall. Adriana had spent the summer working a pathologist from Ninewells hospital to create an animation depicting the process of acute inflammation at the vascular and cellular levels. The animation is aimed at first year medical and dental students. Her exhibition included not only the final animation sequence but also a fascinating ‘making of’ film. Adrianna also won the prize for best medical artist overall.

The prize for best forensic art exhibition went to Amy Thornton. Amy created the facial reconstruction of Alexander Tardy, a pirate and poisoner operating in the early 1800s, from a skull cast housed at the Anatomy Museum at the University of Edinburgh. The final outcome was a wonderfully realistic, life size, full body reconstruction, who’s presence at the exhibition couldn’t be missed! Amy also won the award for best forensic art student overall. Hannah Isaacs also produced a wonderful facial reconstruction of a male skull discovered during the Edinburgh Tram Project.

Hannah not only produced a clay reconstruction but also created a historically and technically accurate oil-painted portrait of the individual.

The final two forensic artists, Raslyn Benn and Jessica Fay produced two very different projects. Raslyn’s project and exhibition looked at the developmental stages of the Sphenoid bone from fetal to one year after birth. She created a 3D e-learning application to aid in the teaching of juvenile cranial osteology. Jessica investigated the many techniques used to create composite images from witness and victim memories. She compared three different techniques: EvoFIT, sketching, and a combination of the two.

Other medical art exhibitions included an excellent ibook for patients with pancreatic cancer by Jessica Hsiung and a traditional printed book full of resources for terminally ill cancer patients by Claire Taylor. Jessica worked with a surgeon at Ninewells hospital to create her ibook for patients of the Whipple operation (which removes tumours on the pancreas). The aim was to create a portable, accessible resource that engages the viewer and promotes better understanding and improved post-operative experience in patients compared to traditional text resources. Claire also worked with staff at Ninewells hospital both from surgery as well as the palliative care team to create her book, ‘Understanding Terminal Cancer’. The book traces the development of the most common cancers in Scotland, together with information about symptom relief, confirmation of death and body donation. This book is designed as a ‘coffee table book’ to be used in cancer centres such as ‘The Maggie Centre’ in Dundee, and other hospices.

The final two medical art exhibitions were from Marisa Satsia and Marissa Krebs. Marisa Satsia worked with the preserved pathological specimen collection at Ninewells hospital to create an e-library aimed at allowing medical students and teaching staff remote access to the collection. The e-path library included photographs of the specimens, 3D photogrammetry and illustrative wax modelling. Finally, Marissa Krebs investigated the changing role and appearance of anatomical teaching models. Her project saw her casting in glass and modelling in wax and other traditional materials to create a skull and brain model that could be used for teaching while also engaging the viewer in a deeper narrative.

For more information on each of the students exhibiting in the show see: Caroline Erolin, MSc Medical Art Course Leader.

Masters Show 2015