Lynn Fellman: DNA Portraits


Ask a biologist if Mother Nature is an artist, and many will answer yes. Yet how many artists can casually name-drop words like mitochondria, DNA sequence, and haplogroup path? Digital artist Lynn Fellman may be a rarity in the art world; she's an artist with a great appreciation and understanding of the world of science, and has even begun attending science conferences. Though the end results are colorful, informative, and unique works of art, each portrait begins scientifically. First, one's mouth is swabbed and sent off to a nonprofit genetics lab for testing. What comes back is ancestral information on which family, or haplogroup, you belong to from 10,000 to 15,000 years ago. Once this is determined, portraits are created with a layering effect using a computer. A map demonstrates where an individual emerged from Africa, bright lines appearing across the map like a bolt of electricity, while translucent DNA sequences swirl about the image. Fellman's work combines science, art, and ancestry, taking it to a completely unique level. Reception with artist's talk 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Thursday January 31.
Jan. 4-Feb. 24, 2008

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