The scientific research that inspired this design was published in Nature magazine in 2020, and the Marigold beadwork response to the data was featured on the cover.
This design is a translation of genetic admixture data plots. The hand-loomed beadwork is a tactile reminder of the humans abstractly represented by the data.
The link below discusses the research and the decision to feature the beadwork on the cover:
The YouTube link below shows Wits researchers discussing their work on African genomes. Michèle Ramsay explains the Marigold beadwork design based on the research: ‘This pan-African genomic study has inspired art. These are beads that have been made by the Marigold beadwork co-operative in Zimbabwe, where each column, or line of beads represents an individual and the colours each represent different ancestries’.
Elsabé Brits reported on the genomic research for Daily Maverick: