Daniel Elborne One Drop of Blood

health, identity

White blood cells are a crucial part of our immune system, they defend our bodies against bacteria, viruses and other foreign invaders.

One Drop of Blood is an interactive ceramic installation influenced by the artist’s mother’s fight with breast cancer. The work physically represents the number of white blood cells in one drop of human blood, and contains approximately 20,000 individually handmade porcelain cells, mimicking a high-ranging white blood cell count. The scale aims to overwhelm the viewer, while the use of porcelain connects it with preciousness and fragility, both of which echo elements of personal memory for the artist. In addition, the work raises awareness of breast cancer research and teaches us about the purpose of white blood cells in our body.

In the tradition of artists such as Felix Gonzalez- Torres, viewers are invited to take portions of the work away with them in exchange for a donation to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. This participation is intended to emulate the artist’s mother’s dropping white blood cell count during chemotherapy, while raising funds toward breast cancer research.

Installation; glazed porcelain objects, 2013
Image: Ben Tupas

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The Artist: Daniel Elborne

Daniel Elborne is an Australian artist based in Toowoomba, Queensland. His preferred working material is clay. Elborne primarily creates ceramic installations, which draw from varying points of personal experience and significance. By utilizing the fragile and precious nature of ceramics, he addresses sensitive historical events as well as cultural/political issues within modern society, while also questioning the role of ceramics in contemporary art practice.