MEDIUM: HAND-SEWN HUMAN HAIR
How It Started
I have been collecting my hair on a daily basis since 2000. The collection of my hair is a ritualistic activity; I gather it by running my fingers through my hair each morning or by accumulating that which falls out during a shower. Saved hair is stored in plastic bins. Over the years, I have dyed my hair different shades of brown and red to obtain a greater variety of values and tones. In 2018 I began to create hand-sewn human hair drawings with my gray hair. There is a meditative quality to sorting hair – as preparatory work – I enjoy the texture of the hair through my fingers. I slide my fingers down its length and create work piles correlating to length.
Sociologist Rose Weitz published a work called Rapunzel’s Daughters: What Women’s Hair Tells Us about Women’s Lives. She examined the hair’s relationship to sexuality, age, race, social class, health, power, and religion. According to Weitz, hair plays a role in our identity because “It is personal, growing directly out of our bodies and on public view for all to see. And it is malleable, allowing us to change it more or less at a whim.”