Artwork title: 'To mummy, to baby - the placenta'
In first meeting Jane in her office at pathology she expressed to me, first and foremost, she is a woman, a mother and a daughter. To me I felt after learning more about her and her research that this is at the centre of her work and her passion for the placenta, and why she does what she does. That it is immensely important for her to be able to provide closure to families in cases of adverse outcomes in a pregnancy and to help prevent it from happening in the future.
She had showed to me donated placentas from patients and it struck me how each was so structurally different; I think I better understood what she had meant about the placenta been the diary of a pregnancy. Even at a macroscopic level I could see each were unique to each woman and each pregnancy. At a microscopic level this uniqueness was further enforced. She showed me histological images of placentas with chronic intervillositis, a rare and commonly misdiagnosed recurrent placental condition, which if not diagnosed can result in recurrent miscarriage. To me this showed how important pathological examination is in the management of such conditions and in the prevention of adverse pregnancy outcomes. In the case of chronic intervillositis early intervention can reduce disease severity and prevent miscarriage making a huge difference to a family. When diagnosing what went wrong in a pregnancy the placenta is often overlooked. "To mummy, to baby - the placenta" explores the placentas vital role in a pregnancy. Utilising macroscopic and microscopic images of a placenta collaged with a mother and a resting baby, this artwork describes the relationship between a mother, a baby, their placenta, and how examination of each is essential to diagnosing what went wrong in a pregnancy. The arrangement of these segments shows how the placenta is an interface between a mother and her baby, facilitating baby’s growth and development. "To mummy, to baby - the placenta" tells a story of diagnosis and how the work that Jane does can provide answers and closure to families.
Artist: Georgia Rose Claridge
Georgia Claridge is a Canberra based artist who works primarily with paint. She is currently undertaking a Bachelor of Science and Visual Arts at ANU, studying both painting and cell and molecular biology.
The creative drive behind Georgia’s paintings come from an early nurturing of her art, fostered by her mum. This early and continued support gives Georgia’s works an underlying sense of novelty and care, exploring aspects of her own personal experience of the world.
Her work attempts to share and embody the novelty of discovery she feels in the process of creating a painting. As such, her work focuses on elements and details often overlooked in life, drawing visual inspiration from artists such as Paul Klee and Neo Rauch. Although she aims to create this excitement, her works are not thematically limited, often straying into diverse subjects and opposing ideas. Regardless of subject, Georgia’s works are first and foremost focused on creating an experience and a feeling in those who take a closer look. You can find Georgia @byird on Instagram.
Jane Dahlstrom is the Executive Director of ACT Pathology for Canberra Health Services and Chair and Professor of Pathology at the Australian National University (ANU), College of Health and Medicine.
A current focus of her research is understanding why stillbirths occur through learning from pathological findings in the placenta.
In 2015 it was estimated that 2·6 million babies were stillborn, with 90% occurring due to disease processes present before labour and hospital admission (1). The placenta is the “diary” of the pregnancy. In up to 64% of cases an indication for the cause of the adverse outcome for a baby can be found in the placenta (2). A detailed placental pathological examination is thus one critical component of best practice stillbirth evaluation given the placenta’s essential role in maintaining the pregnancy (3). In addition, certain placental pathologies are associated with an increased risk of recurrent adverse outcomes including stillbirth (4-6). “Whenever I look at the placenta as a practicing pathologist, I try not only to answer the question of what went wrong in this pregnancy, but importantly could it happen again? If the placenta reveals the cause and the answer is ‘yes, it can happen again’, then often medical interventions can be used to prevent adverse outcome in the next pregnancy.” “Giving answers to families (and their treating doctors) is at the core of my clinical and research work as an academic pathologist. Giving these answers is what I enjoy the most.”
(1) Blencowe H et al. National, regional, and worldwide estimates of stillbirth rates in 2015, with trends from 2000: a systematic analysis. Lancet Glob Health. 2016 Feb;4 (2):e98-e108. doi: 10.1016/S2214-109X(15)00275-2. Epub 2016 Jan 19. (2) Kent AL, Dahlstrom JE. Placental assessment: simple techniques to enhance best practice. Aust N Z J Obstet Gynaecol. 2006 Feb;46(1):32-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1479-828X.2006.00511.x. PMID: 16441690. (3)https://www.stillbirthcre.org.au/assets/Uploads/Clinical-Practice-Guidelines-for-Care-Around-Stillbirth-and-Neonatal-Death2.pdf (accessed 23/1/2020 - Jane is a member of the Perinatal Bereavement Care Guideline Update Group for Australasia and co-author of Section 4 (Perinatal Autopsy Including Placental Assessment) and Section 5 (Investigations for stillbirth). (4) Orefice R, Kent A, Sethna F, Dahlstrom JE. Of pregnancies complicated by small for gestational age babies at term, what proportions have placental findings with implications for future pregnancies or neonatal outcomes? J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2020 Sep;33(17):2990-2995. doi: 10.1080/14767058.2019.1566899. Epub 2019 Feb 3. PMID: 30646781. (5) Sehgal A, Murthi P, Dahlstrom JE. Vascular changes in fetal growth restriction: clinical relevance and future therapeutics. J Perinatol. 2019 Mar;39(3):366-374. doi: 10.1038/s41372-018-0287-4. Epub 2018 Dec 5. PMID: 30518801 (6) Sehgal A, Dahlstrom JE, Chan Y, Allison BJ, Miller SL, Polglase GR. Placental histopathology in preterm fetal growth restriction. J Paediatr Child Health. 2019 May;55(5):582-587. doi: 10.1111/jpc.14251. Epub 2018 Oct 4. PMID: 30288833.
Artwork title: 'Our Internal Truths: The Enduring Lie'
Our Internal Truths: The Enduring Lie examines how we decipher between truth and falseness when our beliefs and memories are unknowingly persuaded by misinformation. By exploiting the photograph’s role in the perception of truth, this enlarged print demonstrates how effective fake news can be to spread, and concurrently, its individual and global damage. The artwork is reflective of the illusory truth effect, through the presentation of a false reality, where photography’s unique representational characteristic is manipulated and abstracted to speak a false truth. Recognising and interacting with reliable data is vital for debunking false claims within our memory and cognition – this composition investigates a lack of fruitful exposure and the draining mental retainment of distorted information. This piece was made in collaboration with Dr Eryn Newman, Lecturer in the Research School of Psychology at the Australian National University.
Artist: Samantha Thomas
Samantha Thomas is an Australian photographer who works with photomedia and whose art practice takes a conceptual and critical view on social issues, in particular analysing social conditioning, normalities and stereotypes. She works across a variety of photographic applications including digital and analogue formats (35mm and 120mm film), photogrammetry, collage, video, and experimental and manipulative processes.
Samantha is completing her Bachelor of Visual Arts majoring in Photomedia and Bachelor of Design in 2021 at the Australian National University (ANU) in the School of Art and Design. She has exhibited in Amplified Together Graduating Exhibition, Moneylab X: Economythologies, ANU’s Instagram Exhibition, ‘Close and Far’ at ANU, and has been recognised in the International (IPA), Monochrome and Chromatic Photography Awards.
Dr. Eryn Newman
Dr Eryn Newman’s research and training are in memory and cognition. She completed her PhD at Victoria University of Wellington, in New Zealand and then from 2012-2015 she spent three years at the University of California, Irvine as a Fulbright Scholar and Research Fellow. During this time Dr Newman studied human memory and forensic science communication/jury decision-making.
In early 2018 I joined the ANU and am a Senior Lecturer in the Research School of Psychology.
From 2015-2017 she trained as a Research Associate/Postdoc at the University of Southern California, studying social-cognitive perspectives on assessments of truth and memory. In early 2018 she joined the ANU and am a Senior Lecturer in the Research School of Psychology.
Did I lock the door when I left the house? Do I believe that news headline that just appeared on my phone? We are regularly making decisions about what is real and what is not. In my research I examine the cognitive mechanisms that contribute to memory and belief and the ways these processes can go awry. I am especially interested in how people come to believe and remember things are true, even when they are not. And in particular, how people can succumb to truthiness—using feelings and pseudoevidence to decide what is real, instead of drawing on facts. These judgements about what is real and what is not are all made in context, when we have different goals and information on the mind. In my research I also examine the role of context in assessments of truth, memory and broader judgements about people and evidence. Combining approaches from social and cognitive psychology I try to understand the role of evidence, feelings and context in correcting misinformation, enhancing science communication and understanding bias in judgements within criminal justice contexts.
Artwork title: 'Flower Garden'
Flower Garden is an analogy for public health - it’s a surreal corographic map of a large garden where the gardeners are government, the flowers are people, the bushes are communities and the garden itself is the public at large. It shows the tourist locations, where the flowers are healthy, pretty, rich, and are especially well cared for because that’s what the caretakers see. It also shows the areas with less sunlight, less food, less water, where the flowers can’t bloom as bright. Those are the places where illness and sickness go unnoticed and uncared for, but they are still part of the garden, and if they're sick, the garden is sick. Flower Garden is based on a talk I had with Dr Meru Sheel about her work in Global health research and Infectious diseases. We talked about where she’d worked and how she went about improving public health, lest to say she’s done a lot. I gravitated to her work with smaller communities, those mostly out of the public eye, and her comments about how building relationships with those in charge and those affected were all just about building a relationship with different parts of the same system. How surveillance, good data, and understanding at all levels, is what leads to good prevention of these diseases. You need to pay attention...to everyone, or you won’t catch the illness until the brightest flowers start to wilt and the garden is brittle and dry.
Isabella (Fuz) Buckley
Isabella Buckley, or better known as Fuz, is a 21yr old animator and illustrator in training. Fuz has a love for stories and clean lines. Fuz mostly makes concept art and animations of fictional things, tales yet to be told, with infinite possibility for creativity and an unknown potential for lessons.
Fuz hopes that with her work, she can make people think, or at very least be entertained and remember that the best stories after all are the ones you take home with you.
Fuz also likes cats and foxes, which will be evident if you visit her youtube channel MiniBatKitty or her instagram @thefuzzyfox.zyfox.
Dr Meru Sheel
Dr Meru Sheel is a passionate global health and infectious diseases researcher and epidemiologist with expertise in immunization, emergencies and emerging diseases. Dr Sheel’s work encompasses a range of topic from responding in the field to infectious diseases outbreaks and public health emergencies, to conducting operational research to generate evidence that can prevent and improve our ability to control outbreaks.
Dr Sheel loves to engage with stakeholders from varied settings and use a multi-disciplinary approach to find solutions to problems. In 2019, Dr Sheel was awarded the Westpac Research Fellowship. Dr Sheel won the Science and Medicine award for the 40 under 40 Most Influential Asian Australian award and in 2020, Dr Sheel was awarded the ANU Vice Chancellor’s award for Impact and Engagement for her contributions to the COVID19 pandemic nationally and internationally. Dr Sheel’s research work can be explored here: https://researchers.anu.edu.au/researchers/sheel-m