Give us an insight into your process for preparing hair to work with. Do you dye it yourself? I work with a mix of human and synthetic hair, and a mix of new and retired human extensions. I enjoy experimenting with different methods of dyeing. Part of the fun for me is trying out different inks, pigments and paints, to see the potential outcomes – often with nice surprises along the way. And I’m a sucker for gradients. I really love exploring and combining materials, and a lot of my process comes from that learning. I get a lot out of seeing how far I can push an idea through the process. And I often get sidetracked by discovering properties of the hair I hadn’t planned, and consider these smaller works as sketches. So ultimately my approach is a bit of a mix… sometimes I dye it and sometimes I buy pre-mades, according to the needs of each material and project. The making of these sculptures needs so much touching; sanding, rubbing, caressing, washing and sanding again. I often ask myself it’s possible to transpose intimacy into an object, and if that intimacy can then be felt by the viewer.
Ideally, what do you hope an audience takes away from your work? To come away looking at hair a bit differently. What is hair without a human? Also questioning what is real or fake – and does it matter, the difference between synthetic and real? I like to make work that is uncomfortable, that the viewer isn’t sure if they like or not. Because it plays on social preconceptions, and subverts our emotional or psychological triggers. I’m also trying to leave them with some connection. I want to express intimacy with the viewer through my work – though at a safe distance, that allows space for surprising directions and new interpretations.