Lucy: Mitochondrial Evolution

Lucy is the first crocheted piece that I made at this scale. The first that exploded with pattern. The first that used a lot of color. Also the first that fully exploited the tradition of crochet by engaging doily patterns. This was when I bought and learned to read the pattern book that I still use.

Lucy utilizes several traditional patterns of doilies. At the smallest end, the doilies are partial, just the centers. As the form expands, the patterns complete. The color in this piece is all resin dye. Some translucent, some opaque, but all added to the resin in the mixing stage.

Lucy refers to the bones of what is believed to be the oldest bi-ped human found in Africa.

“Mitochondrial” refers to mitochondrial DNA which is DNA passed on to future generations by mother to daughter giving us a history documented by female. Here, I am bluntly equating doily form to female, thereby the use of the word “mitochondrial.”

The shape of the nautilus is based on the Fibonacci number series. Fibonacci was an Italian mathematician who died in 1250. He found that the sequence which we now call the Fibonacci Number Sequence is found in nature, in the nautilus shell, in plants, etc… Why use a number sequence? This math is a part of nature…we are nature…this piece is about our evolution which is nature which is math. I like to get basic structure from math because math appears to have much to do with our structures.

“Lucy” the sculpture is about the evolution of an individual within a group along a long time line. At the origin of this nautilus form, the doilies are simple, simple center forms which resemble others, similar in color to others, soft green blue colors of pond scum. As the sequence builds the overall form, the doilies grow, they gain more of their own pattern, colors begin to separate. The close communal aspect of the origin of this form is lost, replaced by isolation and discord.

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© Yvette Kaiser Smith 2004