Winning image of Crohn’s disease ‘torment’ part of national show at Techniquest

An award-winning image demonstrating the “pain and torment” of Crohn’s disease is being displayed at Cardiff’s Techniquest as part of a national exhibition.

Wellcome Image Awards 2017

Stickman — The Vicissitudes of Crohn’s (Resolution), by Oliver Burston, is appearing at the science discovery centre after claiming first place in the 2017 Wellcome Image Awards.

The awards celebrate the most innovative and thought-provoking scientific images of the year with winning works exhibited around the UK and overseas.

Mr Burston’s digital illustration was chosen as the favourite thanks to its “highly personal” insight into the artist’s physical and emotional experience of Crohn’s disease. The digital illustration, which is part of a series, depicts Stickman’s skeletal body referencing the weight loss, frailty and abrupt, transformative nature of Crohn’s.

It will now appear alongside 22 other scientific images as part of the national exhibition, which will visit 12 locations including Techniquest.

Lesley Kirkpatrick, CEO of Techniquest, said the exhibition perfectly fitted with the educational charity’s mission to enhance scientific learning across Wales and the UK.

She said: “We are thrilled to be among the hosts of this year’s Wellcome Image Awards’ winners particularly as this coincides with our 30th anniversary year.

“These awards push the boundaries of science image making and constantly encourage people to be innovative – something we are extremely passionate about here at Techniquest. This year’s winners are a testament to that ethos and the work they have produced is both fascinating and deeply thought provoking.

“We would encourage our visitors to come along and see these fantastic images for themselves.”

Catherine Draycott, head of Wellcome Images and chairwoman of the judging panel praised Mr Burston’s winning image. She said: “This image instantly stands out: its dark style and stark contrast are really striking. This representation of Crohn’s draws the viewer in and gives a unique insight into the raw pain experienced and expressed by this talented artist.”

Fellow judge and BBC Medical Correspondent Fergus Walsh said: “This image is a stunning representation of what it must be like to have Crohn’s disease and it’s like nothing I’ve seen before in terms of the portrayal of someone’s condition: it conveys the pain and torment of the sufferer.”

This year's awards, which were held in London on March 15, also saw the second Julie Dorrington Award for outstanding photography in a clinical environment handed out to photographer Mark Bartley. Other award-winning images include an illustration of Nobel laureate and neurobiologist Rita Levi-Montalcini, and a visualisation of Twitter conversations about breast cancer.

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