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05 January 2005 —
27 February 2005

Clare Smith: Layers of Lives:
Cloaks for the Daughters of Eve

Artist’s statement -

Recent advances in human genetics show that mitochondrial DNA or mtDNA, is passed down from Mother to daughter almost unaltered through the generations. Scientists working in this field have narrowed the different types of mitochondrial DNA down to approximately 36 different ‘mothers’, all of whom are descended from one ‘Genetic Eve’ who was probably from Africa. It is now possible for people to trace which of these ‘mothers’ they are descended from. A simple DNA test provides information about migration paths and also allows people whose ancestors were dispossessed through war or slavery to discover their genetic origins and find their ancestral homelands.