"Ten years ago I began making hair drawings after passively noticing a strand of my own hair caught under a piece of tape on a bill envelope before going to sleep one night. I have always felt freed by self-imposed “constraints” and these became my chosen drawing materials not only for the practicality of cost and storage, but for the satisfying line quality achieved, the inherent personal connection, the purity of the result, and succumbing to the nature of the hair to inform the curve of the line. Over time the techniques have inevitably become developed and refined, but the meaning that has emerged seems beyond what I could have planned. For instance, I was immensely humbled when I received a commission from a family to create seven hair drawings with the hair of their recently deceased 24-year-old daughter. The experience immediately transported the work into a new realm that I could not have attached to it by myself, and moving private stories continue to surface.
Through the careful repetitive patterning and gesturing of the hairwork and performance, I explore the relationship between outward and inward patterns. Substantiating my suspicions, recent neurological research confirms that mobility and dexterity in fine motor skills--especially by the hand-- may stimulate cellular development in the brain. Additionally, myths and rituals in Africa, Peru, and Central Asia point to this link between specifically braiding and weaving and humanity’s aspirations to the very highest inner activities. The meditative process allows one to gain access into the patterns of one’s own mind. The ritual quiets the chatter allowing for a chance to notice and direct the activity in our heads, and therefore the patterns of our own behavior. Through the simple alchemy of attention, time, and labor, a substance that most of us have is transformed into something quite different. With this work I am looking at the relationship between decorative, external patterns and internal, natural patterns: the dialog between one’s public side and one’s private side; the patterns of movement and ritual as a collective: whether as a sports team or institutionally; as the individual and as the group; the inner relationship itself; and the super-power of “women’s work.”"
*Lindsey Adams Adelman
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