Wednesday, 16 May 2007

Spiders and hair

I am working with hair again, crocheting some larger hair-dresses, which I will probably hang from branches. Three finished so far, hope to do series of five.
I love and hate working with hair. The best is opening the long crackling plastic packet and taking out the (artificial) hair which is loosely woven into a plait. It feels soft and sensual, you want to stroke it. I almost don’t want to undo the plait, but need to separate it into thin strands for my crocheting. The crocheting is where the trouble starts, the hair is not really that pliable, resists being fastened into tiny loops and stitches, individual hairs escaping, knots forming. After every twelve double crochets a new strand needs to be taken up and joined. It’s painstaking, almost obsessive work, takes time, you need to look closely at what you’re doing although for thousands and thousands of stitches it’s the same and the same and the same again. Utter focus and the mind empties. The little girl learning to crochet, head bent over her work, sweaty hands clasped tightly around hook and cotton thread, is never far off.
Working with this material in the home-environment leaves strange traces - at the end a fine web of hair is spun all over my carpet and knots of hair reappear in other rooms like spiders.


Kruse said...

Would you use real hair? I have long red hair which falls out loads and I kkep meaning to gather it up and do something with it. The fallen hairs look like drawings - maybe I stitch them onto canvas.
Have you seen Susie McMurry's work?
She often uses horsehair. Check out the 'echo' piece at I saw this in the flesh, stunning!!

par3rg0n said...

maybe you already know hair dresses and other hair works of motohiko odani / I could'n find anything via web, but I've some pics on a catalogue I took on the venice biennale of 2003 /