Anna Dumitriu Blog

Posts In: Sculpture

16th August 2022


“Zenexton” (2022) is a contemporary amulet to ward off disease. In around 1570 Theophrastus Paracelsus coined the mysterious term Zenexton, to mean an amulet that would be worn around the neck and protect the wearer from the plague. Until that time amulets had a more general purpose of warding off (unspecified) disease, rather like the […]

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1st April 2020

Plague Dress

This 1665 style “Plague Dress” (2018) is made from raw silk, hand-dyed with walnut husks in reference to the famous herbalist of the era Nicholas Culpeper who recommended walnuts as a treatment for Plague. The dress is appliqued with original 17th century embroideries which Anna Dumitriu has impregnated with the DNA of Yesinia pestis bacteria […]

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7th January 2024

Fragile Microbiome

Fragile Microbiome (2024) is a large scale, wall-sized, hand-felted artwork which is embroidered and beaded to represent our intestinal microbiome, the lining of the gut and the rich communities of bacteria that live inside us. It is impregnated with their DNA. The piece also contains bilirubin and biliverdin, two bile pigments which combine to give […]

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2nd September 2020

Unruly Objects

Unruly Objects is a series of closely connected projects exploring the conservation of biological media and BioArt, and its inclusion in museum collections. Unruly Objects and Biological Conservation Anna Dumitriu is collaborating with the Department of Conservation of Antiquities and Works of Art at The University of West Attica in Athens (Greece) to explore the […]

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27th March 2020


“Shielding” explores the impact of the COVID-19 quarantine on women facing domestic abuse and the paradoxical meaning of home as shelter. News stories around the world have highlighted the significant upsurge in violence and the need for increased support for victims of abuse from both governments and the charity sector, at a time when support […]

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14th March 2020

Linen: From the Field

Linen is the original biotextile and it is produced through the interaction of plants, bacteria and engineering. As such, it has been used frequently in Dumitriu’s work as a metaphor for biotechnology and also as a means of exploring the relationship of environmental microbiology and infectious disease. Works in the series incorporate a range of […]

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19th March 2020


A series of works exploring how our bacterial flora might be enhanced to create human super-organisms. Hypersymbiotics™ Post Pandemic Edition “What should your medicine cabinet contain in the future? Perhaps a vial of “Psychobiotics”, containing serotonin producing plasmids that could live inside probiotic E. coli in your gut and make you happy? This work builds […]

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3rd March 2020


“aDNA” (2022) takes the form of a contemporary animal bone which has been carved with textures that explore the processes of bioarchaeology and of infection with bovine tuberculosis, a zoonotic disease that can be transferred to humans from livestock. The carvings are impregnated with a piece of ancient DNA (aDNA), known as an insertion element, […]

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3rd March 2020

Coming Back

“Coming Back” (2022) is based on the idea of how when tuberculosis (TB) is discussed people often say “Oh, I hear it’s coming back”, and frequently blame immigration for this. But this term ‘coming back’ is truer than they think, because genomic research has shown that the main strain of TB now circulating in India […]

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29th February 2020

Ex Voto

“Ex Voto” (2016 onwards) is an ongoing participatory artwork and major installation that explores the impact of infectious diseases and antibiotics on our lives, created through the making of ‘votive offerings’ during drop-in story sharing workshop sessions. These secular ‘votive offerings’ reference those found in religious settings symbolising a wish or giving thanks for its […]

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