How useful do you find art images in both your work and in a teaching capacity?
I’m not sure what you mean by “art” here. I find illustrations incredibly useful in my teaching, as a means of visualising difficult concepts or as aids for explanations and descriptions. These need to be accurate depictions of (usually) biological systems, though the style may be humorous, simple or realistic, depending – accuracy though is paramount. I do occasionally use more obvious “art works” to illustrate my teaching, but less frequently – maybe a portrait of a scientist, maybe to evoke an emotional state, maybe to just provide a sense of context e.g. Hogarth’s Gin Alley. I like to use images in my PowerPoint presentations to break up the words, and images can be powerful aids to communicate information (particularly difficult information).
Do you find that this affects your view on art generally? If so why?
I haven’t thought about it before – but, no, I don’t think it does. Unless it is to perceive some images that are anatomical representations as being incredible works of art in their own right – I love some of the recent scanned images.
Do you feel like your work challenges medical art in some way?
My work? No. My area? Possibly. Depicting connections within the brain is difficult. I’d like to have access to more high quality, accurate medical images of all sorts
Do you feel like the medical imagery out there has finished progressing/ growing?
No. I think there has been an obvious trend towards 3D and animation – the body is only in a static state when dead, and whilst dead things can tell us some invaluable information about how a body is put together, the mystery is in understanding the live relationships in physiology/anatomy. Three dimensional and moving images help to illustrate the physiological complexity of an organ like the brain, as well as demonstrating functional relationships.