LOCKDOWN TALES: This still life series by Ledora Francis is a bittersweet love letter to hair
Hair + Photography: Ledora Francis
Words: Emma de Clercq
Quarantined in her New York home, hairstylist Ledora Francis has created a series of surreal and elegant still life images. By showing hair that is displaced and transplanted into set-ups where it doesn’t belong, Francis reflects on the impossible situation that she and other hair creatives currently find themselves in: isolated in a profession entirely dependent on physical contact. “As other creatives have started doing Zoom shoots and the rest of us stay at home, the role of the hairdresser has become purposeless,” she says. “I decided to create some stills with the idea of the incongruence of hair in any other form than on our heads, making the hair itself purposeless and absurd.”
Isolated alone, Francis simultaneously inhabits the role of photographer, art director, hairstylist and model, and each image is the result of a great deal of juggling, including “some interesting furniture stacking, holding my laptop with my leg while I shot, or using a broomstick to catch a focal point while I set the timer to jump in”. Francis explains that creating the series solo has made her think about the integral role of collaboration in her profession. “Before this time I’d always been a contributor on a team of many. To be very honest it’s been great to have something to work on, but doing it all alone has made me miss my colleagues so much. It takes half a day to make one picture and it reminds me why it takes so many of us being on set to make great images.”
"It's been great to have something to work on, but doing it all alone has made me miss my colleagues so much"