The Decorative Art of Daily Living: Hair Today Gone Tomorrow

(2007) references, like much of my work, my time in Chicago and my intensifying mental illnesses.  When I first moved to Chicago in the fall of 1999, I began to fall apart mentally.  One of the physical manifestations of this deterioration was the fact that my hair began to fall out.  Naturally I did not want to clog up my bathtub drain, I was at least sane enough to think of this.  At some point I began experiment by making drawings using the hair that had just come out while I was washing it.  These drawings were temporary and probably the most important thing I did for the first year and a half of graduate school.

Cut to 2002:  after a much-need year and a half break from school back in Portland, I returned to Chicago to complete my M.F.A., at which point my hair was falling out from stress and a certain mood stabalizer (that didn’t even work!).  My new apartment had the best bathroom I could have hoped for:  it was entirely white square tiles!  For the apartment show I had in 2003, I did a hair drawing installation in the bathroom:  I covered every single white tile with a hair drawing.  I tried to document this installation, which turned out better than I could have imagined considering it was done 2 hours before the opening, but analogue slide film doesn’t play nice with an essentially all-white image.  Bummer.

Cut to 2007:  I was still saving my hair in ziplock baggies so I didn’t clog up my drain and still making drawings for my own amusement.  I was also becoming more well-versed in fiber work and saw the connection with what I had been doing rather absent-mindedly for years.  I then created 2 white tile panels similar to the shower dimensions from my first bathroom in Chicago and made more drawings.  The hair is manipulated and adhered with a mixture of water and conditioner so the drawings are completely temporary.  I continue to draw in this manner, in my shower and on plexiglass from time to time.  I cannot draw in the tradition sense but have always had an appreciation for the graphic quality of line drawings and this is the way I keep in touch with that love.