I have recently been looking back on my childhood, considering aspects small and large that have shaped who I am as a person. This is because in 2014, I became a parent for the first time. As my son grows, I think about my role in his development as well as the role our society has in influencing who he will become. Small things, that might not appear significant, can have a lasting impact – creating either a negative or positive effect as he grows.
Hair Project evolved out of a moment in the shower, when I watched my hair gathering in the drain. Hair loss is common when your body goes through a significant change like giving birth. However, in that moment, I thought about all my preconceived notions around hair.
When I was younger, I wanted to cut my hair short. However, my mother was less than happy with the idea. Girls weren’t supposed to wear their hair short, that was for boys. Before my junior prom, my mother made me get my lip waxed, because girls shouldn’t have hair on their face, that was for boys. For years, I have gone through a regime of removing hair from certain areas of my body because that is what girls are supposed to do to look presentable or attractive in our society. It wasn’t until after giving birth to my son and becoming a parent myself, that I started questioning the role hair (something that is technically dead) plays in my life and in our society.
Hair Project started with me physically cutting my hair and then taking that hair and molding it in a very tactile way to create the forms that I would then use to create photographic self-portraits. My goal for this project is to open up a dialogue around biased notions of hair, particularly concerning gender roles and identity within modern society.
Installation View from City Wide Open Studios New Haven 2018