Wieg tot Graf: Cradle to Grave in the Netherlands

Wieg tot Graf

Dr Liz Lee

Wieg tot Graf is a new version of the installation Cradle to Grave, created for the exhibition Niet Normaal (Not Normal). It shows the life of ‘everywoman’ and ‘everyman’ living in the Netherlands today. The fabric contains all the pills that they have had prescribed during their life which are knitted into the fabric in the exact order in which they are taken.

Both are healthy children who mainly take paracetamol and occasional antibiotics. From their late teens their medication histories diverge. The woman takes the contraceptive pill before and after having two children. In her middle age she becomes depressed and takes antidepressants for few months. Later she has breast cancer and needs treatment for five years. In general her health remains good until her seventies when she develops diabetes. She is still going strong at 80 years old.

The man has asthma and hay fever in his teens and twenties. He is a smoker and needs antibiotics for chest infections throughout his life. In his thirties he suffers from migraines and intermittent indigestion. Later he gets high blood pressure and cholesterol which means he has to take regular daily medication. At 75 he has a heart attack and a year later suffers a fatal stroke.
Wieg tot Graf: Photos

“The photographs bear witness to vitality and decay, and to the moments of joy and worry that face all of us at some point in our life. Wieg tot Graf generates feelings of astonishment and fascination, but at the same time asks critical questions about the use of medication, and our views on health and health care.”
— De Collectie (The Collection), A New Context for Art Projects in Care Institutions

Read the typical man’s story

Read the typical woman’s story

Go to Wieg tot Graf in Artworks