Hair Embroideries

Embroideries with artist's hair on Victorian vintage doilies

As an adolescent, I struggled with my hair. Being of half African and Puerto Rican descent I inherited very naturally curly hair. Alongside my white skinned, long straight haired friends, I felt different and unattractive. I went through many grueling hours brushing, combing, and straightening. That process was very difficult and tedious, just like the process of my embroideries. To embroider with my hair I have to straighten each piece separately. The materials I use also are inspired by older art traditions. I have used the doilies to relate to the Victorian era practice of weaving human hair into bracelets, necklaces, and rings to mourn the deceased. As well as, the even older tradition of using human hair in Chinese folk art. My work explores my struggle in developing my identity in relationship to Western ideals of beauty and femininity.