The Seven Daughters of Eve
The Fusion of Art with Science.
The seven beauties, shown below, are my interpretation of the seven women, our ancestors, as portrayed by Professor Bryan Sykes in his world best-selling book ‘The Seven Daughters of Eve’.
For me it all started like this: In the summer of 2006 I was asked by Professor Bryan Sykes, professor of human genetics at Oxford University, to ‘bring to life’ on canvas the seven goddesses based on his best-selling book ‘The Seven Daughters of Eve’, AND to incorporate their individual DNA, literally, into the paint. This would be the first time ever that DNA would have been used in this way. I was excited. I accepted the challenge. The project ended up taking me six months in total, I was practically eating and breathing seven goddesses from the very beginning! The first two months I devoted to intense research, visiting museums in London followed by Paris, the Louvre and the Trochadero firmly on my list, in search of classic and neo-classical sculptures. I was hooked! I took photos, made sketches, I read….When I finally started putting brush to canvas, back in my small London studio, I worked like somebody possessed for the next four months. When I needed a live model my daughter Lajla kindly came to my rescue. I felt in awe when I mixed the relevant DNA (supplied with consent by Professor Sykes’s laboratory) into my oil paints for each individual canvas. I took special care to use different brushes for the DNA of the seven individual women in order not to disturb or risk mixing their ‘genetic fingerprints’ during the process. In a curious way I felt almost as if I was injecting life into the individual woman and that she during this process took on her very own personality which in turn allowed me to know how to continue on my canvas. It felt both inspiring and oddly liberating at the same time.
Finally, after four exciting and exhausting months, I could add the final brush stroke. There they were, all seven goddesses, beautiful, strong, independent, free - transcending the ages. My work was complete.
My interpretation of the women - the goddesses - is symbolical and also an embodiment of beauty. Take e.g. my Tara, she is not just the original clan mother from 17,000 years ago. She is ALL Taras that have ever lived, those alive now, and those in generations to come. She carries her DNA through generations: Forever Tara. And Helena, Jasmine, Katrine, Ursula, Velda, Xenia.
The last word should go to Professor Bryan Sykes, and I quote, “Our DNA does not fade like an ancient parchment; it does not rust in the ground like the sword of a warrior long dead. It is not eroded by wind or rain, nor reduced to ruin by fire and earthquake. It is the traveller from an antique land who lives within us all”.