My work draws upon the mind-matter phenomenon, exploring our thought systems, perception and body sensations. Human hair is intimately corporeal, tactile and focuses the viewer’s attention on the body. Also, since hair doesn’t decay long after death, it is an especially appropriate symbol of remembrance. Each strand of hair is hand knotted or woven into forms, which become transparent like invisible thoughts, and memories. The sculptures are often used in my video and performance works.
I use the hair sheared from my head, then transform the hair into wearable sculptures. It comes back to my body with new symbolism, which represents invisible thoughts. In the videos, I connect the ‘invisible thoughts’ to my head, often lifting slowly into the air and disappearing, as a cleansing gesture. The videos become ritualistic meditation ceremonies. My head is shaved, as monks do, representing a detachment from materialist identity. I meditate with my back to the camera, embodying a detachment from gender, culture, and thought. The immersive quality of videos in conjunction with my androgynous appearance invites viewers to inhabit my body, and experience the process of clearing the mind.
Also I make stand-alone non-wearable sculptures, which I sometimes use in video and performance, or collectively they become an immersive installation. Weaving and knotting the hair by hand instead of using machinery creates unique, organic shapes both in the details and in the larger form. The weightless hair sculptures move from the airflow created by a viewer’s movements and from the environment. Those small movements in space, on an intricate scale, shift the awareness toward subtle perceptions that are often taken for granted.
In my 2d work, I also use each strand of hair to create compositions of grids, and geometric shapes with repeated hair-lines. The diffused hair strands within layers of acrylic medium and beeswax, represent thoughts dissolving, or surfacing between states of the conscious and unconscious mind.