Blood Group

Sculpture / Installation

Medium: blood samples scanned using electron microscopy, digital images adjusted, printed on acrylic with polyester laminate, and mounted behind Plexiglas


Commissioned by Dalhousie Capital Projects, the University Libraries, Dalhousie Art Gallery, and the Faculties of Dentistry, Health Professions, and Medicine, 2016

Blood Group is a selection of blood samples magnified 5,000-10,000X using a scanning electron microscope (SEM) and then superimposed on cross-sections of blood cells imaged with a transmission electron microscope (TEM), which gives the particular shape to the Plexiglas objects. Because the electron beam does not transmit colour information, electron micrographs are black and white unless colour enhancement has been added using computer technology.

The blood group includes medical students, artists, family, and friends, from diverse backgrounds, ethnic groups, sexual orientations, and of course, blood types. The samples were collected, prepared, and scanned at Dalhousie University during a HEALS Artist-in Residence Program at the Dalhousie Medical School during 2014-2015. Irregularities and abnormalities in the images are due to technical malfunctions, imperfect preparations, disease, dehydration, anemia, blood disorders, or just being human.

Documentation credits:
Steve Farmer