As a powerful symbol of life and death, the alluring mystery of blood has fascinated scientists and artists for centuries. From biological fluid to artistic medium, this series of stories explore blood through a diversity of Victoria’s museums and collections. Inspired by Science Gallery Melbourne’s inaugural exhibition Blood: Attract & Repel, these stories offer a diverse understanding of blood through objects, art, and innovative new research.
Blood and identity
Our journey with blood begins with Australia’s first nations people by exploring the word for blood in over 150 different Aboriginal languages. Australia is one of the most language diverse continents in the world, yet many of these languages are at risk of disappearing. Researchers at The University of Melbourne are preserving this cultural heritage through a digital archive of language groups.
Blood and medicine
Obvious connections exist between blood and medicine, with science breaking down the mystery of blood and offering solutions to many of our greatest health challenges. As our knowledge of blood changes with new research and scientific discovery, outdated practices and technologies remain archived in some of Victoria’s leading museums and collections. These objects are a snap-shot of the past, and a fascinating view of a pseudoscientific practices that remained cultural embedded in society for thousands of years.
Museums, galleries and archives face many challenges around preserving objects and artworks that contain blood. Our final insight into blood takes a look at the methods used to conserve these important items of cultural heritage by a team of experts at the Grimwade Centre for Cultural Material Conservation.
Science Gallery Melbourne is a dynamic new gallery designed to engage young people through the collision of art and science. The gallery will open in 2020 as part of a new, world-class innovation precinct at the University of Melbourne.
In the lead up to opening, Science Gallery Melbourne hosted a diverse program in pop-up locations at The University of Melbourne and within the Melbourne CBD. BLOOD: Attract and Repel is the Gallery’s inaugural program, featuring an exhibition of 22 artworks, a mobile BLOOD Lab, and public program of events.