Dr Erica Tandori, artist-in-residence within the lab of ARC Laureate fellow, Prof. Jamie Rossjohn, in the ARC Centre of Excellence in Advanced Molecular Imaging (Imaging CoE) at the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute (BDI) has been awarded a grant from Creative Victoria to explore new modelling techniques and create biomedicine art sculptures.

Over the last 18 months, Erica has developed tactile sculptures for exhibitions to explain biomedical concepts to the low vision and blind community. The newly awarded $30, 270 grant, is an opportunity for Erica to upskill and work with two techniques that she hasn’t used before - robotics and computer imaging. Using robotics and imaging, Erica will create 3D art to explain the relationship between form and function in HIV and proteins.

“As an artist, it’s amazing to be able to explore the concept by not only thinking about the picture but the actual shape. The sculptures and the exhibitions help everyone - not just the low vision community,” said Erica Tandori.

Erica will work with Swinburne’s Interaction Design Lab and Protolab to create the interactive pieces, incorporating Braille, sound and movement. She’ll learn to use 3D technology, and explore integrating robotics, computer imaging, and organic material to explain the scientific process of protein folding and how the HIV virus infects the human body.

The sculptures give the low vision community an opportunity to hold 3D models to understand the human body, and also allow scientists and students to hold aspects of their own research.

“I can’t wait to get started! It’s such a privilege to return science to art, and art to science - just as Leonardo da Vinci once did,” she said.

Erica will be showcasing her current artwork at an upcoming Sensory Scientific Exhibition and Discovery Day. The half-day scientific exhibition conducted by the Cancer Program, at the Biomedicine Discovery Institute, Monash University will be held on December 6th. More information and register.

Dr Erica Tandori is a legally-blind artist, academic and public speaker. She has a PhD in visual art and ophthalmology, in which she used art to articulate the processes of her own vision loss caused by juvenile macular degeneration. Since being diagnosed with the degenerative disease in her first year of art school, Erica has devoted her art-making and research to an examination of what it means to experience living with vision loss.


ARC Centre of Excellence in Advanced Molecular Imaging
The $39 million ARC-funded Imaging CoE develops and uses innovative imaging technologies to visualise the molecular interactions that underpin the immune system. Featuring an internationally renowned team of lead scientists across five major Australian Universities and academic and commercial partners globally, the Centre uses a truly multi scale and programmatic approach to imaging to deliver maximum impact.

The Imaging CoE is headquartered at Monash University with four collaborating organisations – La Trobe University, the University of Melbourne, University of New South Wales and the University of Queensland.

Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute

Committed to making the discoveries that will relieve the future burden of disease, the newly established Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute at Monash University brings together more than 120 internationally-renowned research teams. The Institute researchers’ are supported by world-class technology and infrastructure, and partner with industry, clinicians and researchers internationally to enhance lives through discovery.


Image: Imaging CoE, 2020 Creators Fund recipient, Dr Erica Tandori.