heARTbeat: Jenine Shereos Weaves Leaves From Human Hair

ColumnThe significance of our locks.

Throughout history, humans have imbued hair with meaning. Take for instance a superstitious Picasso who is said to have kept all his hair cuttings (and nails) to protect him from witchcraft. In an era when women were still property, Victorians’ long tresses could increase a dowry. Urban myth or not, Samson may indeed have lost his virility when Delilah cut his locks.

Hair continues to be a symbol, and its presence or absence is a powerful marker across cultures. In her work, Jenine Shereos, a sculptor and installation artist specializing in fiber and textile processes, is interested in drawing on the metaphor of memory. No wonder she is fascinated with this medium.

One can imagine her thinking as she describes,”the delicate trace of a hair falling silently, imperceptibly, from one’s head becoming the veins of a leaf as it falls from a tree leaving its indelible imprint on the ground below.”

In transforming those ephemeral strands, Shereos says of her process:

Inspired by the delicate and detailed venation of a leaf, I began stitching individual strands of hair by hand into a water- soluble backing material. At each point where one strand of hair intersected another, I stitched a tiny knot, so that when the backing was dissolved, the entire piece was able to hold its form.

With all that is embodied in her medium, Shereos brings our focus to these delicate, temporal objects, making us forget for a moment, what power each strand might otherwise hold.

Photos by Robert Diamante.  Inspired by a post on DesignTaxi

Eco, trends, art, creativity and how they tumble through social media to shape culture fascinate EcoSalon columnist Dominique Pacheco. Her trends blog, mixingreality, speaks to these topics daily, and here at EcoSalon, she takes a weekly look at the intersection of eco and art. We call it heARTbeat.

Dominique Pacheco

Dominique Pacheco is the author of EcoSalon's weekly heARTbeat column.