Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation commission new arts project

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has commissioned a new arts project to raise awareness of the importance of vaccines.
The Art of Saving a Life, described as being a collection of stories and told by more than 30 international artists from all creative mediums, documents how various forms of the treatment have changed the course of history.
Vaccines, says the foundation, are “one of the  greatest advancements in the history of human health”, which have, for example, saved millions of lives, as well as delivering better health and opportunities for people from all walks of life.
While journalism has its place, art, in all its incarnations, is an engaging, creative and visually stunning way in capturing and telling “the stories behind this success”.
Some of the artists taking part include Alexia Sinclair (Australia), Christoph Niemann (Germany), David Chancellor (United Kingdom), Francisco Toledo (Mexico), Glen Wexler (United States), Graciela Iturbide (Mexico), Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra (India) and Zim&Zou (France).
Speaking to the Wall Street Journal recently, Dr Orin Levine, director of the vaccine-delivery program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, said the inspiration behind the project came from the fact that many people are still naive to the impact and importance of vaccines.
“I think when we do our job right and well, we make a big impact on the world,” he said. “And yet it’s often the kind of work that people don’t know about—they don’t talk about, they don’t understand well.
“From my standpoint, I thought it was a great opportunity to try and engage art and the art community to help us spark that conversation.”
And it is a conversation that needs to happen. Regardless of the fantastic progress that has been made, the need for more and better vaccines remains, as ever, a pressing issue.
For example, one in five children across the globe are not benefitting from “even the most basic vaccines”, resulting in an estimated 1.5 million children dying needlessly every year.
This can be overcome and vaccine-preventable diseases, such as pneumonia and rotavirus, can be fought by boosting the numbers available to those most in need.
Here’s an example of how the foundation is achieving that through the art. Take Ms Sinclair’s Edward Jenner’s Smallpox Discovery photograph.
It’s set against the backdrop of how a surgery would have looked in the eighteenth century and features the namesake doctor administering the first ever smallpox vaccine, which was also the world’s first vaccine.
“The aristocratic woman in the centre represents how smallpox did not discriminate, affecting the rich and poor alike,” the artist explains.
“The many flowers throughout the piece symbolize the global impact of smallpox, and the skulls on every bottle the ephemeral nature of life and death.”
Cadogan Tate, experts in fine art shipping, works with museums, galleries and artists to deliver secure art storage solutions.