Proposal by: Naomi Jansen


Project Proposal: Visual Artistic Research on Cancer

Karkínos is a visual artistic research in which cancer encounters different facets of the earth. In Karkínos, cancer is interconnected with, for example, the astrological world, the animal kingdom and various biological systems. A deeper look is taken at how cancer works, how it arises, grows and lives, and what similarities there are in nature and on earth to this phenomenon.


Detail, Carpilius maculatus, Naturalis - Zoology and Geology catalogues, Naturalis Biodiversity Center -


Early Stages

Karkinos is currently in the early stages of research, from which visual expressions will slowly grow. I want Karkínos to be a project that slowly grows bigger and bigger. It starts with small insights, which an artist usually leaves aside and does not use, in this everything gets a visual chance. In the final stage I hope to explores how Bio-Art and its rituals can question cancer and the medium of photography. Can for example photography, a visual image grow into a tumour?
With Karkínos, I want to question medical science, making doctors and professors look at cancer differently and see how strongly we as humans are connected to nature. Cancer is one of the most common diseases, and as humans we prefer to stay as far away from it as possible, in Karkínos I want to depict cancer in different ways to educate, inspire and surprise people.

Personal Introduction

''I look at the world with an immense fascination for medicine and nature. Thus, I am curious about processes and how things come into being. In my vision, the body and nature are intimately connected. I find inspiration for my art practice in encounters with nature, the invisible biological processes or the human body and all its secrets. As a visual artist, I do artistic research on the human body and its diseases. I question the medical sciences by revealing connections between body and nature, from this it appears that the natural ecosystems and mechanisms of humans are identical to those of the earth. In my projects, I work closely with doctors, professors, scientists, biologists and other experts to further ground my work. My practice includes text, photography, printmaking and installation, all of which are done with a collaborative, hands-on and research-driven working method.''

''For Karkínos I am working and researching as Artist in Residence at Erasmus MC (Erasmus University Medical Center). Which makes it possible for me to look into all facets of cancer, use laboratories and can access information at any time through the many scientists, doctors and professors present. Furthermore, I collaborate with Naturalis Biodiversity Center, which is an important link between the medical world and the biological.''


Planning & Budget:

In September 2023 I hope that Karkínos is in the final stage, September is in fact the end of crab season. This seems to me a great opportunity to have a finnisage! When it comes to the budget, as I invest in the project myself, I also hope to captivate sponsors and or funds to bring Karkínos to a higher level. The budget really depends on the visual outcomes, whenever I want to create a book, I will need more financial resources to make it happen. Will I travel to other countries? Even more resources...



I would love it if Karkínos can grow into several places where art, science and biology come together. Think Ars Electronica, VU ART SCIENCE gallery or other international art centers or festivals. I think Karkínos has the potential to not only gain national but also international status, and hope that through mediamatic I am able to find international recognition and contacts.

Follow Naomi's research on:
Instagram: @iamnaomijansen

This proposal is part of the 'Penny for your Thoughts' project 2022.