You Are What They Ate (Photo Series), 2019
You Are What They Ate
Bread Baby Prop - Salt Dough, Tin Foil, Acrylic Paint, Oil, Baby Clothes.
Eight-Part Photography Series.
You Are What They Ate is Anya Bliss' response to a collaboration where 17 students from the Arts University Bournemouth took inspiration from the Oxford based Structural Genomics Consortium laboratories, facilities and their research. The cross-over of science-artworks were then exhibited in The Radcliffe Science Library in Oxford. During this collaboration Bliss also worked as part of the production team with four of her peers.
"My work is inspired by the research the Structural Genomics Consortium (SGC) conducts on proteins associated with epigenetics. I’m specifically interested in how epigenetic findings show how economic and social classes affect gene expression across multiple generations. In other words, it proves both nature and nurture have a big impact on who people are and therefore lead to biological inequalities. For example, a lower class family’s environment might have more negative epigenetic modifications compared to a family from a more privileged background.
You Are What They Ate consists of an uncanny, eight-part photo series depicting how epigenetics can lead to genetic disadvantages. The series shows a couple unknowingly modifying their gene expression, through the environmental factor of their overconsumption of bread. The couple's child is then comically made out of bread to show how modified gene expressions can be hereditary. Towards the end of the series, the bread-baby becomes stale and mouldy, representing epigenetic disadvantages and the pathos associated with this. The bread, in this narrative, is a metaphor for different environmental factors leading to different genetic predispositions." - Anya Bliss, 2019 (Description for the exhibition catalogue).
Special thanks to models Seth Horton, Rachael Holmes, and Charlotte Crozier for helping to make this series possible.