The placenta as a guidance tool

'Haem' by Cecilia Jonsson

Cecilia Jonsson is an interdisciplinary artist, who is exploring different forms of iron in her art works. Her project ‘Haem’, that she developed in cooperation with the scientist Rodrigo Leite de Oliveira, assembles a compass needle made out of metallic iron derived from 69 human placentas. The compass needle is then presented as a guidance tool floating amidst in a rotating glass bowl, inspired by the labyrinth of nourishing vessels within the placenta.



'Haem' by Cecilia Jonsson -

‘Haem’ reflects on iron as a mineral and resource and its presence in the human body: “The iron that runs through our veins and allows us to breathe is the same element from which the weapons, shields and tools were fashioned that have allowed humanity to not only survive, but flourish, for millennia.”

The compass needle symbolizes the placenta as a life-giving organ that is a direct connection between mother and child and is a source of nourishment. It turns the placenta as a maternal resource into a guiding tool, a power to direct us throughout life in the decisions we make, and directions we take, ultimately shaping who we are and the world we live in.