Fiona Kirkwood

Fiona Kirkwood is a South African artist who lives in
Durban, KwaZulu-Natal. She works in fibre and mixed media
to produce contemporary sculptures and installations

Media

polyester fabrics, human and synthetic hair, grass warp, nylon and film

Dimensions

Variable

ALL FOR LOVE (2013)

From childhood, I have always loved my hair and experimenting with my hair. It is part of my essence and carries my DNA.  I have long used it as a means of reflecting the person that I am and at the same time working within its limitations.

For women and also men it is a very attractive alluring feature which attracts both males and females and has been seen as erotic throughout the ages in various cultures.  In some societies like Iran and Afghanistan, where I have spent some time, I, like all the other women  had to experience covering my head and also my hair when out of doors or in a public place.  It made me feel quite alien from myself.  Many Muslim countries do this as part of hiding the attractiveness of their women from other men.

People spend lots of money at hair salons having their hair washed and cut, blow-waved, dyed and permed, braided, plaited and extended.  They also wear wigs and hair pieces to add to their attractiveness.  They will often have the feeling of being cared for through this process.

In this installation I use myself and my own hair. I was photographed and filmed.  I also filmed in hair salons in Johannesburg and Durban and wove the real hair of many fellow South Africans both black and white.

I then used the hair panels as part of a performance, to express the transformation from self to embracing other people through love. My work therefore refers not only to self-love but also to love for my fellow human beings.

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