Cells collected from Czarnecki’s daughters’ mouths are grown on delicate glass casts using innovative cell-nurturing methods and life-support systems, which are then preserved, lifted and presented to create scientifically accurate three-dimensional living portraits.
The installation of Heirloom also reveals the process behind the portraits, combining elements of citizen science, prototyping, and experience design, to explore possible futures in medical procedures and techniques.
Heirloom was created by Gina Czarnecki and John Hunt, with Saskia and Lola Czarnecki-Stubbs, in 2016. Produced by Forma and originally developed for display with Medical Museion, Copenhagen as part of the EU Creative Europe funded project Trust Me I'm an Artist. Supported by Arts Council England.
Gina Czarnecki realises her art in a diverse and often unconventional range of media, including installations, sculpture, video, and site specific works. Since the mid-1990’s her work has found fascination with convergent developments in life sciences and technologies, their possible applications and how this shapes and informs identity. Recent projects include Nascent and Infected with exhibitions at CYNETART, Dresden (2016), Bruges Cultural Centre (2016), and Open Media Art Festival, Singapore (2015).
John Hunt is a research scientist driving towards providing treatments for healthy ageing and regenerative medicines for chronic diseases and physical trauma, through combining materials with living cells. He is a full time professor and research theme leader at Nottingham Trent University, UK, leading the Medical Technologies and Advanced Materials team.
Background image: Installation view, Gina Czarnecki and John Hunt, Heirloom, FACT, Liverpool, UK, 2016. Image courtesy of FACT. Credit: Stephen King