What inspired you to do this hair jewellery series? The whole series is based on a sentence my mother said to me when I started losing hair in 2012: “I would give you my hair if I could”. It is such a strong idea, giving your own hair to someone, since often we are very protective of our hair. Before this series I was exploring hair as a medium and started felting it into pearls — which then I thought would fit into earrings well. I also love the contrast of women with short hair or who have lost their hair, wearing hair in an alternative way, defying the tradition of where hair should be. Some people care a lot about their hair, some not so much, but giving away what is yours to someone else who needs it more is beautiful. That is the feeling and act that the whole series is about — the beauty in helping each other and defying the norms.
Where is the hair sourced from? The hair of the earrings always comes from a close source, like my mother, friends, or as a donation from my peers at school. In some of the portraits the hair is from their own family or friends, like with my self-portrait with my mother’s hair. The intimacy that comes with the act of getting hair from someone is important in the whole series as well as realising how many people are ready to give their support to you.
When did you first realise or decide that you could use your alopecia and turn it into art? In the spring of 2017 before I started this study. That’s when I shared my ‘big reveal’ of me having alopecia on Instagram accompanied with a self-portrait. Getting to that point was a result of many years of taking self-portraits and through that trying to accept the way I look. After sharing the first image I realised it was not only myself I was helping through sharing it but also others who suffer from alopecia.