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Theda Sandiford

Neue

Mixed Media Fiber

8' h x 12" w x 12" d

2019

$10,000

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Description: Cotton rope and mixed media yarns... Imagine, hair. The elusive, coveted “good" hair. On some days and for some people, that is my hair. Or was. Or can be. But you should know by now -  Don’t. Touch. My. Hair

Artist Statement

I Am My Hair safe placemaking through the exploration of an individual’s relationship to their hair and identity.

I Am My Hair is the product of an interactive community yarn wrapping and knotting experience.

Hair weaving dates back to ancient Egypt. In Africa hair styles symbolize one’s family background, social status, spirituality, tribe, and marital status. These traditions continue to evolve in the diaspora and remain a prominent social activity and have become a rite of passage for women for all walks of life.

In the tradition of sewing circles, I invite the community to participate in wrapping and knotting rope with yarn, ribbon and trim, all while discussing our hair and whatever else comes up for the participants. The conversation and yardage grow in much the same way hair does, bit by bit. The stories shared by each of the participants become imprinted onto the rope. The ropes, imbued this essence, become a common denominator amongst us all, HAIR.

Bio

When you have entered your overwhelm of work, ambition, fear and fragility, there you will find me and my work. While many are looking to uncover or remove the layers that we walk with - I embrace them; giving them a place in my visual memory versus that of the mind.

With my work, I embrace layers of mixed fibers and found objects, meticulously placed in chaotic grace on the ‘countenance’ of each moment. Organized confusion allowing the viewer to safely navigate that which at first seems, unsafe. My work recreates the experience of freedom from constraints- and more importantly, community.
 
My heritage has afforded me the opportunity to know myself as a symphony of esthetic values; of order and ease. My German mother and Barbadian father created a life for me and my sister that drew straight lines of this multihued understanding.

So, when I was diagnosed with dyslexia and later MS, these ‘obstacles’ were addressed with deliberateness that gave way to grace. The themes of grace, power, memory and the healing properties of art pervade my work. A visual soundtrack for life, my work is alive with sound, color and movement, transporting you to the places we all yearn to be, free to be and understood.