Wednesday, February 2, 2011

loren schwerd

1812 tupelo st, 2007, human hair, mixed media, 23x24x8, charbonnet near rocheblave st, 2008, human hair, steel wire, 24x18x16, unmoored, near dorgenios st., 2007, human hair, mixed media, 18x12x8
Mourning Portrait, is a series of memorials to the communities of New Orleans that were devastated by the flooding which followed Hurricane Katrina. These commemorative objects are made from human hair extensions of the type commonly used by African-American women that I found outside the St. Claude Beauty Supply. The portraits draw on the eighteenth and nineteenth-century tradition of hairwork, in which family members or artisans would fashion the hair of the deceased into intricate jewelry and other objects as symbols of death and rebirth. Working from my own photographs I weave the hair into portraits of the vacant houses of the Ninth Ward neighborhood. By documenting private homes, I venerate the city's losses, both individual and collective.
i remember when this work was featured in fiberarts magazine a while ago and i was so taken with it and it's importance, i needed to revisit it...see more here.

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