Blood is Thicker Than Water

Meagan Hyland (IE) & Zhan Sergejev (LV)
Wall mural, 2014

Blood is Thicker Than Water is a typographic mural made using paint, markers and some of the artists’ blood, sweat and tears.

Many people assume that “blood is thicker than water” describes the bonds of family as thicker than those of friends. But if blood is family then why is friendship water? Reading the full quote in blue and red text the reader can see that in the original, unedited version of the quote, the “water of the womb,” or our family relationships are not as strong as the “blood of the covenant.”

Rather than “blood” shared by family, the original interpretation of the term was literal blood. The blood that is shed by soldiers on the battlefield makes for stronger bonds than those of the family they happened to be born into. It was also used in reference to ‘blood covenants’ that people used to make, which involved cutting each other and mixing their blood together.

About the artist: 

Blood is Thicker Than Water is the conception of Meagan Hyland, a graphic designer and illustrator who works with pop culture and typography. Fascinated to hear that the well-known quote is actually derived from a longer quote with almost the opposite meaning, Hyland thought it would be interesting to explore this meaning with audiences at BLOOD. Zhan Sergejev is a visual artist originally from Latvia who specialises in pyrography and street art and realised the work on the wall of Science Gallery Café.