Medical Research Council - London Institute of Medical Sciences

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A Picture of Health - Science and Art collaboration - IV Systems Within Systems

29 November 2019

Systems Within Systems

"A Picture of Health" is a well-known phrase that conjures up a wide range of imagery and interpretations across communities and scientific disciplines. Artwork on this theme created by five artist-scientist groups, the culmination of a collaborative project between MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences and Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts, London, reflects current research topics vital to human health.

Artist Mariana Heilmann collaborated with Dr Enrique Castro Sánchez of Imperial College London to explore the global topic of antimicrobial resistance, focussing on the pivotal role that individuals play within a bigger system. The result is an interactive method to map different pathways through the complex and interconnected web of factors that impact health. This multi-faceted piece inspires exploratory interactions and workshops. Progressive engagement leads to new layers, each representing a new system and the subsystems that exist within them. Each layer is filled through interactive dialogue and analysis. One of the interactive pieces is designed to be written on, and subsequently rubbed out, allowing for multiple 'journeys' of thought and analysis.

"A Picture of Health" artwork can be seen at the Science Museum Lates in London this week

Written by Sophie Arthur and Lucy Brown

  • Image of work by Mariana Heilmann photographed by Jody Kingzett
  • MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences, and Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts, London UK
  • Image copyright held by the photographer

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BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences the website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biomedicine. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.

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BPoD is also available in Catalan at with translations by the University of Valencia.