Blood and Guts? Wait Til You See How This Dutch Artist Deals With Cystinosis

Rare Connect explains the life of Annie Kwakkel who was born with cystinosis, a genetic condition that affects approximates 1 in 100,00 to 200,000 newborns worldwide.

Today, people living with cystinosis are living longer, thanks to medical science.

That’s wonderful news, but it also means finds a way to pay for college while facing the costs of living with a serious medical condition. That’s why Deanna Potts, who lived to be 27 years old, discussed her wish to start a scholarship fund for children with cystinosis.

In 2010, the Deanna Lynn Potts Scholarship allowed Dutch Artist Annie Kwakkel to enroll in art school in her native country, The Netherlands. Since then, she has thrived by exploring the role her own body plays in the creation of her art. Having cystinosis made Kwakkel exquisitely aware of her body’s limitations, but also its potential as an expression of art.

Everything I make begins with my fascination for the human body. Blood, flesh, feces, organs, the solid matter we are made of…. it stands for the possibilities, the options for the future,” said Kwakkel.

The artist often uses flower petals as a medium because of their fragility. Together with transparent threads and glass, the petals help Kwakkel explore how “the material and immaterial flow over and in each other.”

The Potts Scholarship is administered by the Cystinosis Foundation. The application deadline is March 30th of each year.

We look forward to seeing what the next amazing story will be coming from the Potts Scholarship!


If you know someone who would be a great candidate for the Potts Scholarship, be sure to tell their story below in the comments!

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