Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Hair embroidery

 "Kate Kretz embroiders pillowcases with eyelashes and human hairs (including several from an ex-boyfriend). The result is both delicate and creepy..."~New York Times

Maryland-based Kate Kretz is one of a few artists* recognized for embroidering with human hair. Most recently, her visions have taken shape as a nest of her own hair cradling an egg and marking the birth of her daughter - decades after terminating a pregnancy. Another piece consists of her gestational hair embroidered on a child's garment and symbolizes hope for her daughter's safety and fear of her own vulnerability. Both works have been assembled into a one-woman show entitled "This Sharp World" which runs through July 2nd at Hardcore Art Contemporary Space in Miami. In an earlier work not in the show (depicted above), Kretz  threaded individual strands of the locks of a former boyfriend through a pillowcase. Until they became part of her portfolio, the curls had lain in the glass box in which he had presented them to her with the words, "I think you love my hair more than me." The artist does not reveal whether or not this was true, but does include the following passage in her statement accompanying the current show:
"Embroidering with hair possesses its own unique intensity: each barely perceptible stitch is like a rosary bead, marking a tiny but ardent prayer whispered over and over....I give birth to the tactile as I am swallowed by the virtual. I obsess over craft as our world becomes disposable. I wield emotion in its messiness because it's uncool. I work until my hands shake, because the world does not care. I am banging my head against the wall, but the stain is beautiful."
 *including Laura Normandin in New York, Zaira Pulido in Columbia, and Meng Yongguo in Hong Kong.
Previous posts about hair:


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    Saç Ekimi


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