Cecilia Jonsson Haem

How far back do you go?

The physical basis of Haem is iron derived from an unexpected source – 69 human placentas. This organ possesses a complex labyrinth of blood vessels and provides the connection between mother and developing child. The iron in the needle is extracted from the labour of dozens of births, thousands of hours of fluid exchange, and the earliest meeting point between new and existing life, with blood conferring the vitality of maternal resource.

Haem is developed by Cecilia Jonsson in close collaboration with Dr. Rodrigo Leite de Oliveira of the Netherlands Cancer Institute. Commissioned by Bio Art & Design Awards 2016 with the support of ZonMw (The Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development). In cooperation with the department of gynaecology and obstetrics at OLVG West in Amsterdam and blacksmith Thijs Van der Manakker. The Haem installation is accompanied by a sound composition by Marcello Sodano and a video by Signe Tørå Karsrud and Sergio Cuervo Gonzalez, sound.

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The Artist: Cecilia Jonsson

Cecilia Jonsson is an interdisciplinary artist living in Norway. Jonsson develops her projects as investigations of physical and ideological properties of the raw materials that are fundamental to human existence, from their origins deep in the ground, to the extraction, transformation and global exploitation. Jonsson received her MFA from Bergen National Academy of the Arts and the Nordic Sound Art program. In 2014 she was awarded prize in VIDA, Art and Artificial Life International Awards for her project The Iron Ring. Jonsson made the rock-core drilling work for the Dark Ecology project and won the Bio Art & Design Award 2016.


27 July - 13 November Blood