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Tissue Culture and Art(ificial) Womb

The Semi-Living Worry Dolls are created as iconic gesture for the audience to care for and express their innermost worries and anxieties. We chose to grow modern versions of the legendary Guatemalan Worry Dolls in the artificial womb (a bioreactor)."The Guatemalan Indians teach their children an old story. When you have worries you tell them to your dolls. At bedtime children are told to take one doll from the box for each worry & share their worry with that doll. Overnight, the doll will solve their worries. Remember, since there are only six dolls per box, you are only allowed six worries per day." We decided to give birth to seven dolls, as we are not kids anymore. We may not be allowed to have more than six worries but we surely have. The genderless, child-like dolls represent the current stage of cultural limbo. We gave them alphabetical names as we think that we can find a worry for each letter of the language that made us what we are now. While working on the Tissue Culture & Art Project, people expressed to us their anxieties. These dolls represent some of them. You are welcome to find new worries and new namesÂ… You will be able to whisper your worries to these dolls and hope that they will take these worries away.We hand crafted the dolls using degradable polymers and surgical sutures. We seed them with living cells just before the opening of the show. Over time the cells grow and slowly replace the synthetic materials. By the end of the exhibition the dolls will be almost completely made of living cells.Scientific collaborators on this project were Ian Sweetman and Neuroscientist Dr Stuart Bunt


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