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Marc Quinn in conversation with Dylan Jones

Our Blood: A social sculpture

Segovia 2019 , 

Through some of his most high-profile works, British artist Marc Quinn has been a trailblazer in artistic activism for more than 20 years. Alison Lapper Pregnant, shown in London’s Trafalgar Square from 2005 to 2007, was widely acclaimed for challenging perceptions of disability in society. In his latest piece is a not for profit artwork. With Our Blood, Quinn confronts the refugee crisis at a time when notions of ‘self’ and ‘other’ are increasingly – and tragically – at odds. Quinn talks to Dylan Jones author, journalist, editor-in-chief of British GQ, and Chair of the Hay Festival Foundation, about his work, inspiration and aspirations for using art to spark social change.The sculpture itself consists of two substantial, identical cubes of frozen human blood. One is made from donations by 2,500 resettled refugee volunteers and the other by 2,500 non-refugee volunteers. The two anonymous cubes will be displayed in bespoke refrigeration units and housed in a pavilion. The pavilion is designed by the renowned architect Norman Foster and the Norman Foster Foundation. They will be joined on stage by siblings Fatoumata Marie and Salou Samassa. Fatoumata talks on behalf of her brother and tells his personal experience having left Marruecos and his brother’s, Yayah Samassa, who was a victim in 2015 in the biggest tragedy in the history of immigration within the Mediterranean Sea. The Our Blood project is about giving a voice to refugees, raising funds for refugee causes and raising awareness of the global refugee crisis.

Marc Quinn Photo ©: Sarah Lee