Body Parts for Sale Series: 03 Kidney part 1

about the exhibition

Explore my inspiration for the Body Parts for Sale exhibition in this blog post - Body Parts for Sale Series: Intro

Collagraph Printing - Body Parts for Sale - 03 Kidney part 1


The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs located just below your rib cage, one on each side of your spine. The job of the kidneys is to filter your blood, about a tenth of a litre per minute, removing waste and toxins to create urine. When the kidneys fail to do this properly, a patient has only two options: Go on dialysis, which means hooking yourself up to a machine that filters your blood, for hours every day for the rest of your life, or get a new kidney. Which is no easy feat.

With diabetes rates rising all over the world, the demand for kidneys is higher than ever. Of all of the people on the organ transplant waiting list, over 80% are waiting for a kidney. Not surprisingly, the kidney is the most common organ donated, and the bestseller on the organ market. Organ traffickers can buy a kidney for 200 dollars and sell to a patient for 50,000 dollars.

The long diagonal scar from a kidney transplant inspired this print very literally. Even though it is almost too literal for me to feel entirely happy about it I figured that it also works well with my particular obsession with patterns and repetitions.

I chose to work with a quite wide thread, almost like a thin shoelace. I glued the first threads to 1 mm cardboard. Initially I thought to trim the edges along the cardboard edge but then I changed my mind, curious about the effect when some parts stick out of the plate. Using an awl, I punched holes in the cardboard and then stitched using a big needle. Once again (see the post about Sperm) the back side fascinated me. It was more abstract but still had the strong diagonal and repetitive quality. Again I decided to print both sides.

Since the thread was quite thick I wasn’t sure how well the ink would rub off along it and how much of the stitching would be visible. Maybe it would just print like a long black band. Sure enough the inking process was a bit difficult but the print turned out with a lot of detail and very nice. The back side was easy to both ink and print and I really like the result. The uneven repetitive quality.

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The collection

To explore more about Body Parts for Sale, visit my other blog posts in this collection

Body Parts for Sale Series: Intro

Body Parts for Sale Series: 01 Sperm

Body Parts for Sale Series: 02 Blood

Body Parts for Sale Series: 04 Kidney part 2

Body Parts for Sale Series: 05 Womb

Body Parts for Sale Series: 06 Eggs

Body Parts for Sale Series: 07 Hair

Body Parts for Sale Series: 08 Children

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