In March I presented at the SPE National Conference, and during the event there was a massive portfolio walk. Massive. Photographers everywhere, amazing work everywhere. It was overwhelming and glorious and in the midst of it all I stumbled across Rebecca Drolen's Hair Pieces project. It was beautiful and uncomfortable, which is the magic formula in my book.
Hair pieces by rebecca drolen
In my work, Hair Pieces, I am interested in exploring the fickle relationship most have with their body hair. We consider some hair very desirable and grow and groom it with care, while we treat other hair as shameful and cover or remove it. Once hair has become disconnected from our bodies, we treat it with disgust, yet it has an archival, lasting presence that outlives the body and defies death and decay.
I am interested in the line between the beautiful and the grotesque in our connection with hair. I am intrigued by the rules that guide our ideas and self-image in relation to our tresses. In the work, I use photography and the self-portrait as a medium to construct narratives that function both as visual puns and, at times, as social critique. I hope to use the beautiful alongside the repulsive in these images to tell stories of growth and removal as they examine a surreal relationship between hair and its place.