The traditions, rituals and politics of hair
Artists from across Canada offer reflections on how hair embodies the importance of culture.
Join us for the first descriptive tour at Surrey Art Gallery for visitors who are blind or partially sighted! The tour will include selected works from the exhibition.
In this exhibition, artists employ compelling storytelling that express connections intertwined with familial teachings and their own informed experiences.
From the moment of birth, hair takes on multi-faceted meanings. Rooted within storytelling by families and communities, the politics of hair have been both intimately personal and profoundly social. Hair carries diverse cultural narratives that are usually shared through identity and gender. For example, the beauty one sees in loosely coiled curls or a tight braid are both evocative and subjective, not only in the presentation but how hair is communicated to the world.
Deeply meaningful relationships with hair involve intergenerational acts of oiling, braiding, covering/uncovering, and grooming that assist with giving meaning to traditions. Just as much as there are underlying tensions within the cultural histories inherent to these practices, so too do they influence ongoing forms of struggle. For instance, cutting a strand of hair became an act of resistance, igniting an international women’s movement in Iran to confront histories of oppression. The accoutrements of hair such as hijabs and turbans have been politically charged with public bans in some countries. This has forced people to confront a loss of deeply held beliefs, requiring them to assimilate to that society.
The Gallery is hosting a reception afterwards and visitors are invited to stay for light refreshments and conversation.
Artists: Audie Murray, Becky Bair, Wally Dion, Clare Yow, Sharon Norwood, Sarindar Dhaliwal, Karin Jones, Baljit Singh, Kiranjot Kaur, and Natasha Kianipour
Curator: Suvi Bains
Origin of Exhibition: Surrey Art Gallery
Community Partner: The Black Arts Centre
Space is limited. Registration required.
For assistance with registration, please email us or call 604-364-5949
Consider making a day of it by attending VocalEye’s described performance of Made in Italy after the tour (also at the Surrey Arts Centre at 4 pm).