The wall covering painting The Blind Watchmaker / Mitochondrial Eve shows the flower pattern that is based on a fictional evolution in floral shapes with mutations in each generation. The shape is inspired by a family tree that shows how a population within fifteen generations can be traced to one evolutionary line, with one mother as its origin. This kind of genealogical research is based on analyzing Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), DNA that is not located in the cell nucleus but in the mitochondria. This can only be inherited via the mother. The ‘Mitochondrial Eve’ is a woman who lived 200,000 years ago in Africa and who is the common ancestor of all human beings who are alive today.
The title The Blind Watchmaker is borrowed from the book by evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins. In this book, he presents his arguments for evolution based on natural selection. He responds to the theological ‘analogy of the watchmaker’ in which the complexity of organisms are compared to a sophisticated object such as a watch. This comparison is used to prove that everything has been created by God, because it is argued that when there is a complex design there must be a designer too. Dawkins explains in this book how evolutionary mechanisms work by giving scientific explanations, supported by algorithms written by himself that demonstrate biodiversity through natural selection.
The design is carried out in the pattern of ‘Indiennes’: these are French interpretations of Indian fabrics that were imported by the Dutch East India Company (V.O.C.) in the 17th century. Their enormous popularity threatened the local textile industries in England and France, which is why these exotic materials were banned with the death penalty as punishment. They were worn at home or hidden underneath other clothing