Born in Beziers, France, in 1960, Elisabeth Daynès lives and works in Paris. In the early stages of her career in theatre, she was fascinated by the question of identity and metamorphosis. In the 1990s, this passion led her to painstakingly recreate the bodies of prehistoric hominids based on the most advanced scientific knowledge.
She thus became a world-renowned paleo-artist, notably with her reconstructions of fossil hominids for the Museum of Tautavel and her re-creation of the Australopithecus Lucy in 1999 for the Field Museum in Chicago. In 2010, she was awarded the John J. Lanzendorf Paleo Art Prize. In 2011, the Ile-de-France Museum of Prehistory devoted a solo exhibition to her work, while a number of her sculptures of hominids were inaugurated in South Korea.
Using her work on human origins, Elisabeth Daynès invites the public to reflect on appearance and the human face today and in the future. She wishes to show that in a time of social networking and non-stop exposure to ubiquitous images, everyone can invent endless narcissistic mirrors: boundaries blur between real and virtual and between artificial and natural. Her work demonstrates that we are not the apex of evolution in the future and the past, nor are we the only possible humanity. We were once diverse, and we again become diverse. Her art constantly plays with science since science feeds much of our imagination and takes us on a voyage through time. By wildly varying size, material, and treatment while playing with and recomposing the subject of the skull, she shows us all the faces we might have and that we will have one day if that is our choice as artists.