Body Parts for Sale Series: 07 Hair
about the exhibition
Explore my inspiration for the Body Parts for Sale exhibition in this blog post - Body Parts for Sale Series: Intro
Long, flowing, thick hair. A lot of women want it, but lack the genetic qualities or the patience to grow it themselves. This is why hair extensions are increasingly popular. It’s a quick fix to a time consuming problem: human hair grows about a centimeter each month. So instead of waiting for years to grow their hair out, many people choose to weave human hair into their own to make it longer or thicker. Few of those people reflect on where, and from whom, this hair actually comes from. Has it been donated willingly, sold out of desperation, or even stolen by force? There is very little way of knowing.
Among the biggest exporters of human hair are Russia, Peru, Burma and India.
Many of the women donating are very poor, and are coerced to sell their hair, sometimes for as little as 15 dollars, if they are paid at all. This hair, “black gold” as it’s called, is thick, glossy and of great quality. It can withstand the prolonged bleaching and coloring that is required to prepare it for the extensions. Then it is sold to a salon for at least ten times the amount the donor was given. In Sweden, a full hair extension costs anything from 3000kr and up.
I knew right away how I wanted to create this print and the whole process went smoothly and I am very happy with the end result.
The funniest thing through this process was when I had cut pieces of nylon cord and bound them together and they were laying on the floor in our living room. My daughter comes home and her first thought was; oh no, mum has gone completely crazy now and cut off her hair. I was surprised since the cord is white and my hair is not that white, yet, but also extremely pleased because that was exactly the reaction I wanted to provoke through the print. Someone who is cutting off their hair.
The nylon cord strands were then glued with spray mount to a 1 mm cardboard and sealed with shellac. I let the cord stick out from the plate both up and down and I was very curious about how the final print would turn out.
Rubbing off the print was a bit challenging. It was difficult to rub off enough, it stuck well in between all the cords. The end result turned out well and I love the hair that is sticking outside of the plate.
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To explore more about Body Parts for Sale, visit my other blog posts in this collection
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