Hair Shrines: Praise and Be Praised

Mixed Media Installation and Public Artwork, 2013

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The Hair Shrines series examines our societal relationship to hair, specifically our need to idealize, and worship hair.  I am interested in how our (human beings) fascination with hair has escalated way beyond the intended biological purposes of having hair, for warmth and protection.  Hair has long sense been equated to good or poor health, class, race, and both religious and political affiliation or ideology. It is unequivocally associated to beauty and thus ones value with in our greater society. The shrines draw upon the vast historical and worldly use of shrines and spiritual worship. The intent is to create shrines that are dedicated to how humans relate to and think about hair. 

Historically shrines were predominately erected in churches, other places of worships or sites that are associated with various religious or spiritual acts, sightings or events. However, sites are also established, erected, and used in much more contemporary ways as well.  For example to commemorate a tragedy, a death, a celebratory event or to express a specific point of view. 

This particular shrine is titled Praise and Be Praised. This shrine is a manifestation of the need for overall wellness of the body and spirit. The Shrine is composed of two components the sculptural wall piece and then surrounding materials.. The sculpture is mixed media on wire, it focuses on ones mental and physical relationship with self and their environment. The installation area is then lined with candles and bottles of various sizes, shapes, and colors. The bottles are either filled with various oils, minerals, and liquids that are used for overall health and hair growth. Other bottles are filled with water, hair, barbicide, and combs.        

Viewer participation: 

Participants are encouraged to contribute a written offering to the shrine. Small square pieces of paper and pencils are provided for visitors to write a word or a phrase relating to their relationship and/or perception to their hair or health.