Ex Voto by Anna Dumitru.

Ex Voto

Artist: Anna Dumitriu
Collaborators: Dr Nicola Fawcett (University of Oxford), Professor Maggie Smith (University of York)

Close up of Ex Voto by Anna Dumitru.
Close up of Ex Voto by Anna Dumitru.

This growing participatory artwork explores the impact of infectious diseases and antibiotics on our lives through the making of ‘votive offerings’ created by the artist, exhibition visitors, patients, scientists, and medics during story sharing discussions.  These secular ‘votive offerings’ reference those found in religious settings symbolising a wish or giving thanks for its fulfilment. The ‘votives’ are hung on ribbons, stained or dyed with sterilised bacteria, including various species of gut microbiota, Staphyloccus aureus and modified antibiotic-producing Streptomyces, as well as natural antimicrobial substances such as madder root, and non-hazardous chemical dyes used in the lab.

Anna Dumitriu is a British artist whose work fuses craft, technology and bioscience to explore our relationship with the microbial world, biomedicine and technology. She is artist-in-residence on the Modernising Medical Microbiology Project at the University of Oxford, at the Department of Computer Science at The University of Hertfordshire, and at the Wellcome Trust Brighton and Sussex Centre for Global Health Research. Her work has been exhibited at international venues including the V&A, the Picasso Museum Barcelona, The Science Gallery Dublin, ZKM, The Beall Center for Art & Technology LA, Eden Project, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Taipei. http://normalflora.co.uk/