the official website of Biological and Medical Art in Belgium


Together with:

University of Antwerp, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
University of Antwerp, Faculty of Pharmaceutical, Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences
Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp / School of Arts - AP University College
Royal Academy of Fine Arts Ghent / School of Arts - University College Ghent
Haute école des arts du Rhin - HEAR, Didactique visuelle (F)
University of the Arts London - UAL (UK)
Medical Artists' Education Trust - MAET (UK)
University of Dundee, Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification (UK)

Contact information[at] // artem-medicalis[at]

September 1, 2012

PHARMACOPOEIA the art of popping pills - 3th Medical Art Meeting and Exhibition GDA2012


September 13th - 15th, 2012

3rd Medical Art Meeting and Exhibition, Antwerp Medical Days 2012
the art of popping pills

Organized by the Art Researches Science (ARS) program, the Biological and Medical Art in Belgium group (BIOMAB) and the European Medical Students' Association (EMSA) of Antwerp, this meeting offers a meaningful exchange among scientists, artists, and medical artists teaching Art and Science to a new generation of students, encouraging open discussions between scientists and artists and the opportunity for a real dialogue about experiences and visions central to their work.

Applications until September 1th, 2012: CLOSED

"Uncovering the secrets of the apothecary’s ancient book, the Pharmacopoeia and discovering transformative elixirs we never believed could exist."
Art work by Anneke Blennerhassett, 2011

University of Antwerp, Campus Drie Eiken
Universiteitsplein 1 - 2610 Antwerpen (Wilrijk)
Building Q (Aula Building), Room V2 (Parking P3 and P4)
Public transport: Bus 17, 21, 25, 31, 130, 135, 140 and 141
Bus 17 from Antwerp Central Station; Bus 31 from Antwerp-Berchem Station

Opening: Thursday 13 September 2012 at 20h00
Exhibition: Friday 14 and Saturday 15 September 2012 from 09h00 to 17h00
We are pleased that this meeting and exhibition organized by the Art Researches Science - ARS program, the Biological and Medical Art in Belgium group (BIOMAB) and the European Medical Students' Association (EMSA) of Antwerp is convened for the third time during the Antwerp Medical Days at the University of Antwerp, bringing together representatives from a wide variety of disciplines.

The topic for the Antwerp Medical Days 2012 is ‘Pharmacology: Doctor, why are we popping pills.’

The art work represented in the Q building, room V2 on the UA Campus Drie Eiken ‘PHARMACOPOEIA the art of popping pills’ is research based, observing and inspired by the human body in all its diversity; life and nature in all its beauty, strength, fragility, disease, mortality and death.

This scientific meeting and medical art exhibition offers a platform for future networks, workshops and co-productions between young artists, medical artists and scientists. It will also act as an opportunity for regional and local initiatives to be reinforced through trans-continental forum of ideas.

We wish all participants an exciting time in Antwerp and hope that these three Medical Days will be productive and successful for the arts and the sciences.

Pascale Pollier-Green, biomedical artist and president BIOMAB vzw
Claartje Macken, president Antwerp Medical Students’ Congress AMSC 2012
Ann Van de Velde, hematologist, BIOMAB vzw
Francis Van Glabbeek, orthopedic surgeon, BIOMAB vzw
Website: BIOMAB

Pictures of the Exhibition: click here 

Pictures by Chantal Pollier: click here

Artists & Works (in Progress)
Curated by Ann Van de Velde and Pascale Pollier

Rachael Allen (Medical Artist, UK)
Johan Borghys (Poet, B)
Adriaan Van Looy (Consultant-Creative-Concept & Art, B)
Marco Cools (Graphic Artist, B) 
Maria Lucia Cruz Correira (Artist, PT)
Anna Fyrsten (Graphic Artist, SE)
Bryan Green (Sculptor and Poet, UK)
Stefanie Lenk (Medical Artist, UK)
Caroline Hübner (Artist, B)
Bert Leysen (Medical Doctor, B)
Willem Magits (Philosophy Student, B)
Chantal Pollier (Sculptor, B)
Pascale Pollier-Green (Medical Artist, B)
Sofie van Crimpen (Sculptor, NL)
Ann Van de Velde ‘Sanguine’ (Medical Artist, B)

With special thanks to Bea Theunis, Pharmacist UZA and Marc Van Laeken, Technician UA 

Maria Lucia Cruz Correia (PT)                                                
Ecology of Diseases, 2012 
Performance action with boxes of medicine, a chair and a baxter. 
A powerful confrontation in the context of medical art.


The graphical work is presented in the context of a research program in APASS. It a research that approaches the city space as a living body seeking for our attention: a metaphorical diagnosis and scanning of functionality on its internal metabolism, a vulnerable body that needs to be restored, cured and changed. Rethinking the space, as a living organism is an intuitive approach, which involves a deep rethink: on the past, current and future social and political relation between Human and Nature, a space diagnosis and its symbiotic mutual relation. It is a poetic and symbolic exercise, which proposes the illness of the space as a metaphor, a reveal of spatial malfunctions, disabilities and failing organs. Addressing the space as a living body involves a methodology: trying to understand how viral systems spread in grounds of hidden invasion, infiltration and collapse. A decode of systems that underline city as a system of progress, economic profits and political empowerment in confrontation with reflective systems of sustainability, community and corporative. The following experiments and metaphors proposes an understanding on systems that control the cycling of elements that underlines the impact of cities on earth: physical, biological, anatomical.  

Background of the work as an artist: 
Maria Lucia is based in Belgium and works in the context of performance art, science and activism. Her central premise as an artist is the consciousness and awareness of organic appropriation from all living species cohabiting and living on earth. Maria Lucia presents her installations, as living laboratories that relates the weakness of humanity to a complex layering of nature’s politics. Therefore she combines the impact of human interference within natural processes, which reveals the cataclysm of nature and its natural resistance against humanity. Her work is an extended metaphor of a holistic perception of earth and it can be accessed as a manifestation of our sub conscience, as a collective human reflection.

Bryan Green (UK)                                                                          

we swallow the past
devouring writings and sayings to make us better
we bring them up at odd moments in our lives
like undigested pills
we will try anything to survive
we turn to ancient memories and modern science
myths and medicines
taken in good faith
with humour if possible
never knowing on what the truth feeds
we remain
then men of seeds

- Bryan Green (Moodist)

Pascale Pollier (B) 
Tesla's Angst,  A Tragedy of Errors, 2012

Stefanie Lenk (CA)                                                                       
Two obstetric dolls and Doctor Smellie's mechanical labour device, 2012

MSc Medical Art dissertation work at the University of Dundee focused on the design, layout and printing / online publication of a 120 page public information booklet and website for the Royal College of Physicians in Edinburgh. Other graphic design oriented projects in the arena of anatomy/medicine include a public information museum flipbook on conjoined twins, and a booklet layout on ocular muscle anatomy and movement.


 Sofie van Crimpen (NL)
Hoe vang ik een beeld, over vorm en vrijheid, 2012
70 x 80 x 190 cm 

"Het werk dat te zien zal zijn is ontstaan vanuit de vraag hoe vang ik een beeld? Daarmee ben ik heel fysiek te werk gegaan. Het materiaal, wol met gips is al doende ontstaan net zoals de werkwijze en de vormgeving. De gestapelde werken heb ik gevormd door de wol en de plaaster vast te houden. Met mijn lichaam als armatuur heb ik ze structuur gegeven. 

Ik heb ook een beeld in klei geboetseerd en daar afgietsels van gebruikt. Al de delen van die figuur heb ik opnieuw gebruikt en herhaald tot een volledig nieuw werk. Zo was ik in staat zowel de binnen als de buitenvormen van de afgietsels te gebruiken, hierdoor komen positief en negatief door elkaar heen te liggen. 
Waar er bij de gestapelde werken alleen negatieve ruimte overblijft heb ik in het andere werk juist het omgekeerde gedaan. Het vertrekpunt van een positieve vorm die veel lege ruimte omvat."

Willem Magits (B)
Chemische kruimels, 2012

Chemische kruimels
Om lijd en leven te verzachten.
Geef ze tijd, want zover ik weet, staat
Er alles en niets te wachten.

De ingecapsuleerde redder,
De huurling op voorschrift,
Verslaat de vijand,
Maar laat in blinde doelmatigheid,
Zijn schepper en meester,
Niet altijd ongeschonden.

Het ritmische geluid
Van de weg naar geforceerde gezondheid.
Deksel, schud, slik, deksel.
Deksel, schud, slik, deksel.

Polychrome regen uit een potje
Sijpelt druppel per druppel
Mijn zieke lichaam door
Als een baxter-Ganghes
Een bruistablet-geiser,
Een geneeskundige hagelbui.

Een routineuze consumptie
Van chemische kruimels
Van Hippocrates’ bord geveegd,
Balancerend op de grenzen,
Van zijn eeuwenoude Eed.


Chemical crumbs

To sedate life and suffering.

Give them time, for as far as I know,

All and naught await.

The encapsulated saviour,

The mercenary with prescription,

Defeats the enemy,

But leaves in its blind efficiency,

Its lord and creator,

Not always untouched.

The rhythmic sound

Of the road to forced health.

Lid, shake, swallow, lid

Lid, shake, swallow, lid

Polychrome rain from a little jar
Seeps drop after drop
Through my sick body,
Like a baxter-Ganges,
A carbon tablet- geyser,
A medical hailstorm.

A routine consumption
Of chemical crumbs
Swept from Hippo crates' plate,
Balancing the edges
Of his centuries old Oath.

Bert Leysen (B)
Ars medica, 2012

Een dichter is – hopelijk – goed met taal
Zijn passie is het schrijven van gedichten
Maar leef je daarvan? (Leven zijn kinderen daarvan?)
Zijn job is verbeter- en vertaalwerk
Teksten van anderen omzetten volgens de regels van de kunst
Nu, dat geeft leven

Een dokter is hopelijk goed in staat
Dode cijfers uit boeken tot leven te wekken met gevoel en
Emoties te beschrijven met wetenschappelijke precisie
Is zo iemand dan geen dichter?
Een poëet, een doener, een maker?
Een vakman met oog voor afwerking?

Zijn job is het opmerken van afwijkingen
In het levensverhaal van de patiënt
In het medisch hoofdstuk, maar ook in genoeg andere
Detecteert hij een spelfout, of een rare stijl,
Dan bespreekt hij die met zijn broodheer
Goede raad en wijze woorden volgen

Maar er blijft het inzicht
Dat de mens zichzelf wil schrijven.


A poet is – hopefully – good in language

His passion is the writing of poems

But can you live from that? (Can his children live with that?)

His job is correction and translation work

To change texts of others following the rules of the art

Now, that gives life

A doctor is hopefully well able

To let dead numbers from books come to life with feeling

To describe emotions with scientific accuracy

Isn’t someone like that an artist?

A poet, a doer, a maker?

A manufacturer with an eye for perfection?

His job is to notice deviations

In the patient’s life story
In the medical chapter, but also in enough others
A spelling mistake, or a weird style detected,
Will be discussed with the client
Good advice and wise words follow

But still stays the insight
That man wants to write oneself.


"Ik geloof dat een arts mensen niet alleen geneest met de pillen die hij voorschrijft. Een arts (en elke gezondheidswerker) die voeling heeft met de patiënt is een sterker medicijn dan eender welke chemische wonderformule. Verwondering over het schone in het leven, en over het feit dat de arts hierbij een handje kan helpen, is een belangrijke drijfveer voor mij om huisarts te zijn. Deze verwondering een leven lang wakker houden lijkt mij een taak voor de poëzie."

Rachael Allen (UK) 

Miniature monochrome pencil drawings of medicinal plants will explore mythical cures and remedies, past and present.

10. Sitaphal..(Annona squamosal) – leaves, bark, fruit and seeds. Uses..For the treatment of prolapse of anus of children, boils, ulcers, a fly infested sore, malignant tumours, hysteria, diarrhoea, acute dysentery, melancholia, spinal disease, a tonic and an abortifacient. 2012, Pencil on paper, 32 x 42 cm 

7. Kaju..(Anacardium occidentale) – bark, apple, shell oil and seed. Uses...In leprosy,  ringworm, corns, obstinate ulcers, scurny, diarrhoea, uterine complaints, dropsy, neuralgic pains, rheumatisms, elephantiasis, the seed oil is an excellent emollient and used in gastroenteritis. 2012, Pencil on paper, 32 x 42 cm 

54. Marotha..(Terminalia cordifolia) – entire plant. Uses.. Rheumatism, urinary disease, dyspepsia, general debility, syphilis, biliousness, fever, piles, bronchitis, spermatorrhoea, impotence, jaundice, turpidity of liver and for fractures. 2012, Pencil on paper, 32 x 42 cm 

Miniature rat operating table will gesture the rigorous animal testing performed on modern pharmaceuticals before licenced for human use. 

Untitled (rat operating table) 
2012, Mixed media, 2 x 3 x 3 cm, on small table top plinth: 15 x 15 x 30 cm 

Currently artist in residence at Newcastle, Northumbria and Durham University anatomy labs, the artist is orchestrating various projects exploring the role of visual art in anatomy and medical pedagogy, whilst also situating her practice within the Medical Humanities nationwide.

Mandrake for Insomnia, 2012, pencil on paper, 8 x 10cm

 Chantal Pollier (B)
Nepenthe, quells all sorrows with forgetfulness. 24 days, 2012
Golden L-Pill, 2012

Anna Fyrsten (SE)
Project: Sleep, 2012

In a society that requires more and more of us, we sleep less and less. We solve our worries by consuming, covering up the visual marks with beauty products, and medicals for the mind to get its needed share of rest. Yet, the best in life is free - we only need to realize it.
We now live in a 24-hour society where the natural times of rest and sleep - the night - have been replaced with infinite possibilities of recreation and communication. We are expected being updated and available non stop and when time isn’t enough for everything that we want to do, we simply “save in” time by sleeping less, despite the fact that sleep and dreaming renew and prepare our bodies for the life we live. Not even our children, those who need their sleep to grow and evolve, to learn and develop, get sufficient amount of sleep nowadays. More people than ever claim having sleeping problems, and diagnosis for behavioral disorders such as ADHD is on the rise, all linked to the aforementioned topics.
"My project is about promoting a greater awareness of the benefits and the risks of sleep and no sleep, where the artistic aspect is to show how peaceful and beautiful it can be to dream. The body and the mind as a unit - sleep as the physical function of rest, dreaming as the equivalent for the development and recovery of our brain - I have included these aspects in my research and final project.
Research was done through scientific articles and interviews with people who have a personal experience of insomnia and sleep related disorders.
Conclusions as well as questions have risen during the project, and I hope them to be perceived as such - to make a way for one’s own reflections and to create an active consciousness of the topic."


Caroline Hübner (B)
Delirious sanctuary, 2012

acryl on canvas
50  x 40 cm

Visualisatie van hoe medicatie, pillen, etc,
(en niet nader het soort toegelicht)
je in een staat van 'waas' kunnen brengen, … 
spinraggen van gedachten
rond je heen wikkelen,
chaos als een gemoedelijke warmte om je heen laten vallen,
maar ook ergens het 'yellow brick road' gevoel …
naar salvation,
al dan niet door het soort pil een beetje de illusie ervan verschaffen.

 Marco Cools (B)
Hodgkinauten, 2011

Johan Borghys (B) en Adriaan Van Looy (B) 
Aambeien en zetpillen, 2012
60 x 80 cm (3x)

Poëzie en geneeskunde, twee disciplines die ogenschijnlijk niets met elkaar te maken hebben, worden samengebracht in een dichtbundel die het menselijk lichaam als inspiratiebron gebruikt. Deze wordt uitgebracht door Uitgeverij P (gespecialiseerd in poëzie) in september 2012 en wordt voorgesteld op de volgende boekenbeurs in Antwerpen en op 23 september in het Guislainmuseum in Gent. Het concept van de bundel is een doktersvoorschriftenboekje, waarbij telkens een andere arts één gedicht voorschrijft. De gedichten kenmerken zich door een compacte en humoristische stijl.

Highlights AMSC 2012 Symposium (Language: English)

Thursday 13 September - Building R (Aula R1)

14h00: Opening
14h45: Lecture BIOMAB - Symbiosis of Art and Science
15h00: Lecture Prof Jorens - The Story of Adam and Eve

Friday 14 September

09h00: Poster Presentations Part I (Building S)
14h00: Lecture Prof Zul Mirza - Chest Trauma (Aula R2)
20h00: Dinner with all registered participants (Bourla, Antwerp) 
15 euro pp

Saturday 15 September

09h00: Poster Presentations Part II (Building S)
14h00: Oral Presentations (UZA, Aula Kinsbergen)

Het Chirurgisch Geval (Language: Dutch)

Friday 14 September 2012, 15h30 - 19h00 (Aula S1)
19h00: Reception in Room V1

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