Genesis: The First Week of Creation

Material used: Fine Grained Spanish Alabaster

Before fertilization, the egg is 100% maternal. During the first week after the sperm fertilizes the ovum, most of the major biochemical and genetic machinery is rearranged to transform the dividing zygote into something other than just dividing maternal tissue. The paternal contribution becomes integrated.
Thousands of genes get turned on and off in this very dynamic phase which precedes the mass migration of great sheets of cells and programmed cell death as the embryo undergoes enormous transformations. This sculpture depicts the egg dividing from a single egg, to two, four, and to eight cells, while being carried by the maternal villi.

Phase 1

Phase 2

Phase 3

Phase 4