Reliquary Altar

Glass, blood, mucus, metal, donated jewels and beads, 2019

These twelve reliquaries come together as an altar to my chronically ill body. A reliquary is a container for relics. Traditionally, relics are the purported or actual physical remains of saints, such as bones, pieces of clothing, or some object associated with the saint. In this case, the relics are my blood and mucus expelled from my lungs due to chronic infection and inflammation. Using donated jewels from friends and family, I have painstakingly decorated each individual container in order to sanctify my body and the illness that renders it sick.

Images (c) Erynn McConnell