Anna Dumitriu Blog

Posts In: Textiles

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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27th March 2020

Make Do And Mend

“Make Do and Mend” (2016-17) is artwork created by Anna Dumitriu as part of The FEAT (Future Emerging Art and Technology) residency programme. The piece references the 75th anniversary of the first use of penicillin in a human patient in 1941 and takes the form of an altered antique wartime women’s suit marked with the […]

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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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14th March 2020

Syphilis Dress

The Syphilis Dress (2023) stems from a collaboration with Dr Linda Grillova, George Lacey, MSc, and Professor Nicholas Thomson exploring the history and future of Treponema pallidum subsp. pallidum, the bacterium that causes syphilis, known as ‘The Great Pox’. The dress is embroidered with images of the bacterium observed in the laboratory and those embroideries […]

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14th March 2020

Cholera Dress

“Cholera Dress” (2023) comprises an altered antique 1850s bodice and skirt, as might have been worn by female sex workers who used the water pump in Broad Street in London during the 1854 cholera epidemic. John Snow famously removed the handle of the pump after tracing it as the cause of the outbreak. This pivotal […]

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3rd March 2020

Bacterial Baptism

Bacterial Baptism (2022) is based on a vintage christening gown which has been altered by the artist to tell the story of research into how the microbiomes of babies develop, with a focus on the bacterium Clostridioides difficile, originally discovered by Hall and O’Toole in 1935 and presented in their paper “Intestinal flora in new-born […]

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3rd March 2020

Souvenir

“Souvenir” (2022) is based on small purse, believed to have been made by a soldier who was convalescing in Egypt during World War I. The soldier embroidered the phrase “Souvenir of Egypt 1916” on the purse, and Anna Dumitriu has altered and added to the original embroidery with images of Vibrio cholerae bacteria and impregnated […]

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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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22nd March 2020

Teeth Marks

“Teeth Marks” is a body of artworks by artist Anna Dumitriu exploring the strange histories and emerging futures of dentistry. The project looks at the societal and psychological impacts of this defining field of medicine through a deep investigation of the Birmingham Dental Hospital Historic Collection and collaboration with present day researchers who work at […]

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