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Marc Quinn announces a major public artwork in aid of refugees

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Read feature article by The Guardian

Opening in late 2019 on the steps of the New York Public Library, Odyssey is a not-for-profit artwork by Marc, from blood donated by more than 5,000 people – with half of these volunteers being refugees. 

Odyssey is made with refugees and to help refugees: it is created to heighten awareness of the global refugee crisis and to raise millions of dollars for those whose lives are affected by it. 
 
“To me, the refugee crisis is one of the greatest humanitarian tragedies we have ever seen. I feel compelled to make an artwork about it and, by doing so, help the people involved".  — Marc Quinn

Inspired by the nearly 68.5 million people worldwide who have been forced from their homes, Odyssey is a direct challenge to the divisive conversations that separate “us” and “them”.

Odyssey is a collaborative sculpture consisting of two identical, metric-ton cubes of frozen human blood. Each cube is made of blood donated by more than 2,500 volunteers: one by refugees, one by non-refugees. The cubes will be indistinguishable and thus the artwork embodies the basic notion that, under the skin, we’re all the same. 

The project is made possible with a number of key partnerships:

- The sculpture will be housed in a pavilion designed by Norman Foster with his Foundation ;
- 50% of the funds Odyssey raises will go to the International Rescue Committee (one of the world’s largest refugee-focused NGOs), with the rest distributed to a group of further refugee organisations and programmes. These will be selected by the trustees of Human Love, a UK charity established by Marc; and
- Odyssey is supported by a global network of advocates who are giving their blood and voice, including prominent refugees Angok Mayen and George Okeny, as well as others including Anna Wintour, Paul McCartney and Arizona Muse, among many more. 

After its first presentation at the New York Public Library on Fifth Avenue, Odyssey will travel to locations around the world.

Get Human. Get involved:

To learn more about Odyssey and how you can be part of it, visit  www.bloodcube.org

Follow Odyssey on social media and join the conversation using our hashtags #gethuman #ourblood

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