II. DECODING THE CREATORS
What is epigenetics?
After deciphering the genetic code of many species, including humans, scientists realized that they still did not hold the key to explaining all the mysteries of life, disease and our evolution... In fact, there is another level of complexity that allows for fine regulation of gene expression.
This is where epigenetics comes in, and its first results have been to show that changes in our "genetic heritage" can be modulated by interaction with the environment and other factors.
The environment would therefore influence the information transmitted by the genes. In order to echo this phenomenon, the Elsa Vanier gallery has proposed to its creators to create a jewel using a stone from the same crystal (a yellow-green citrine quartz cut in a cushion shape or a mandarin garnet cut in different ways), so that each one can interpret it according to his inspiration, and express the reflections that these scientific researches have given rise to.
Here, for citrine, a yellow-green quartz with an astonishing brilliance, is what the 3 creators participating in the Revelations show have proposed:
AGATHE SAINT GIRONS
For theExhibition "Epigenetic, epi-what else?", Agathe Saint Girons' jewels embody the human being modified by his environment.
Questioning the evolution of materials, processes and the notion of preciousness, Agathe Saint Girons has chosen to set the stone in horn.
For the " Epigenetics, and so what ?" exhibition, Agathe Saint Girons has created jewelry that embody the idea of human cells being modified by our environment. Questioning materials' evolution and the meaning of preciousness, she chose to set the above gemstone, a yellow-green citrine thanks to an innovative process.
Claire Wolfstirn has created a pendant that allows the wearer to make visible or hide the yellow-green cushion citrine, staging a phenomenon revealed by epigenetic findings. The pendant thus has two different "wears".
Claire has created a pendant in which the yellow-green cushion-cut citrine can be shown or hidden by the wearer. She was inspired by the epigenetics findings that genes get switched on or off under the influence of our environment.
With the third citrine, Martin Spreng has created a pendant in which the stone is encircled on both sides by a double ribbon of yellow gold, evoking the unfurled ribbon that reads genetic information. The oxidized steel, in fine layers, evokes the three-dimensional aspect of the layers of information.
Martin Spreng has set the yellow-green cushion-cut citrine in a piece of contrasting gold and gems on blackened iron. The gold ribbons recall the fine threads holding genetic information that may unfold when influenced by our environment.
Three other creators have, through certain pieces, extended the theme to genetics and its mutations:
Marianne Anselin has been working with jewellery, nature and the encounter with the Other for a long time.
From a raw material gleaned in the forest, his eye perceives its becoming a ring or a necklace and his work, while respecting this material, consists in making the object become a jewel. "A form of epigenetics? "she asks herself with a smile.
Marianne projected her imagination where the branches "modified themselves" and became jewels, both to be noticed and to protect themselves by becoming adorned by men.
Histone's tale: Karen Gay has been particularly moved by the reflection on the fate of cells and their increasingly inevitable evolution. A representation of Waddington often illustrates the work in epigenetics, evoking beads at the crossroads of valleys, passing from one cellular destiny to another. Mobile beads and precious concentrate speak for the creator...
Patricia Lemaire focused her reflections on the "genetic signature" of an organism and the persistent image of wind-swept wheat fields. Thus, through repetition, she illustrates the mutation, the distortion of wheat grains, whose genes have been so marked by the environment and recent genetic research. From the genetic signature, Patricia Lemaire traces the graphic signature, which evolves before our eyes, searching for materials and patinas.