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Contemporary artwork for diabetes: “Heart of Sugar”

I have created another innovative art object for World Diabetes Day. Staying true to my style – a two-and-a-half meter high artwork for diabetes “Heart of Sugar” is far from ordinary. I have been living with diabetes for seven years, which allows me to speak about the disease with honesty and courage personally. I have never been a big fan of conventional cookie-cutter art – so I have chosen non-traditional materials, such as insulin syringes or diagnostic strips.

The heart-shaped installation carries a message that self-care is our primary responsibility. Especially now, when the numbers are so alarming: people tend to avoid health screening, and half of those with diabetes have no idea about their illness.

When left untreated, diabetes can lead to harrowing consequences. Today people are more likely to die from the complications of diabetes than high blood sugar itself. Cardiovascular diseases top the list as conditions that pose the greatest danger.

Artwork for diabetes helps to raise awareness

I clearly remember when I was diagnosed with diabetes: the news came as a total shock. Learning to live with diabetes starts with knowledge. It is crucially important to notice the first symptoms of diabetes and perform timely diagnostics. As we learn to manage the disease’s risk factors, we will also be taking better care of our hearts.

I believe that greater awareness and open communication can help save lives and improve people’s everyday experiences. “Heart of Sugar” is my contribution to this joint effort that is expected to get even bigger in the future.

Going the extra mile with visual effects

It may be hard to believe but “Heart of Sugar” weighs as much as 150 kilograms. I estimate that the installation required about 30 square meters of wood veneer. A heart-shaped art object also includes 100 jars, filled with 12 kilograms of sugar cubes.

Stylized tubes serve as an artistic expression of the circulatory system. At night, the lights on the installation start to flash, rhythmically mimicking human heartbeats.

“Heart of Sugar” was first presented in Vilnius centre in the middle of November ’19 – Diabetes Awareness Month – before moving on to other cities.