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AEIMS congress in Antwerp

Aktualisiert: 17. Sept. 2020

A few weeks ago I attended the congress for medical and scientific illustrators in Antwerp, Belgium. It‘s an annual event, that is organized by the "Association Européenne des Illustrateurs Médicaux et Scientifiques" and switches its location between different European countries. I‘m delighted that I was able to visit several different AEIMS congress's in France, Greece, the Netherland and the UK.

I attended this year's AEIMS congress with a pretty big group which included several fellow medical illustrators from Switzerland, a few employees of the Zurich University of the Arts, including the headmaster of theDepartment of Scientific Illustrations (currently called knowledge visualization) and one whole class of students.

The first day we were invited to look in, ask questions and sketch while three human body parts were dissected. Also, there were several different prepared specimens to study. There were two rooms of which one was focussed on human specimens and the other on animal specimens. Wendy Birch, Forensic Anatomist (HTA Designated Individual) & Forensic Archaeologist, was fantastic with answering all the questions regarding dissecting and anatomy.

Later on in the afternoon, we listened to a lecture on Veterinary Medicine as a Visual Science in 18th-Century in France. The key takeaway was the fact of how important horses and the need for medical care for them was, for moving forward in all the fields of veterinary medicine. Being a "horse person" and enjoying horseback riding on the regular, this lecture was very interesting to me.

That evening we then attended a gala dinner at the University Club at Stadscampus. It was nice to catch up with other medical illustrators and hear what they were up to.

On the next day, we attended several different lectures at a different location which was a lot closer to our hotel and also close to the shopping street of Antwerpen (to which I briefly snuck out to do some power-shopping ;)).

A few compelling and thought-provoking lectures stood out to me especially. First off the lecture of the author and sculptor Uldis Zarins, talking about his professional journey and presenting his books; "Anatomy for Sculptors Understanding the Human Figure" and "Anatomy of Facial Expression". Both of these books have really refreshing approaches to being able to understand and draw anatomy and obviously are exactly up my alley.

Also, the lecture "Forensics – a Case Study" by Wendy Birch was immensely fascinating. She walked us through an actual case from the very beginning of investigating a scene, performing analysis in the laboratory and finally to detecting the cause of death and being able to identify the individual. Having a big interest in forensic science and also forensic illustration, this was a true highlight for me.

The lecture "Exploring facial reconstruction through artistic interventions" by Mark Roughly & Partha Vaiude was equally intriguing and gave insight into "Face Lab". "Face Lab" focuses researching on the further development of a 3D computerized craniofacial depiction system, utilizing existing 3D modelling software and haptic technology, the development of a database of anatomical structures and facial feature and the use of cutting edge technology in facial depiction, animation and recognition. It was interesting to learn that they work with similar, partly identical hardware and software, as I use for designing custom implants.

After the closing ceremony of this years AEIMS congress we all headed out for dinner. This wasn't all too easy because we were a rather large group and we weren't able to reserve a restaurant in a timely manner. After splitting up the group we enjoyed a delicious meal in the old part of Antwerp at the Restaurant "Het Vermoeide Model" (The Tired Model), which had us feeling as if we were in a pub on Diagon Alley from Harry Potter.

All in all an enjoyable congress that has us left with many new inspirations, insights and anticipation for the next The AEIMS congress in 2019.

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