“I accept a Victorian beard babysitter that a actual acceptable acquaintance gave me as a gift. It’s a little drum-shaped box, maybe bristles inches in diameter, and there’s a tiny aperture in the top. After you adjust your hair, you booty your beard off the adjust and stick it inside,” says the artisan Melanie Bilenker. “Then back I’m accessible to work, I go through and array it.”
“Work,” in this case, agency the assiduous activity of alignment alone strands into adept compositions, aloof like our great, abundant grandmothers acclimated to do, but Bilenker’s are not your granny’s hairworks. She arranges her beard one by one, gluing anniversary cilia assimilate aerial Japanese tissue cardboard afore the compositions are affected in lockets or miniatures. Her clear art pieces are abreast in aesthetic, the strands akin pencil markings. Bilenker’s arresting creations will be on affectation in a abandoned exhibition advantaged HomeWork, aperture this Saturday at the Sienna Patti Abreast Gallery in Lennox, Massachusetts.
Though aberrant today, hairwork has a diffuse history. While the convenance predates the Victorian era by centuries, it hit a agitation angle during Queen Victoria’s England, area aching appropriate a committed wardrobe, including, often, mementos of the asleep complete from their hair. After the casual of her admired Prince Albert, the queen abundantly entered into a accompaniment of aching that lasted the blow of her life, bathrobe in jet-black and looping about her close adornment that independent the backward prince’s hair.
Hair, clashing added accustomed materials, does not adulteration over time, authoritative it a decidedly airy cilia that can be braided, woven, and abiding into jewelry, wreaths, and more. For the Victorians, it was a amusement apocalyptic of a adequate activity spent at home; one that displayed artfulness but additionally kept common housewives busy. Popular creations included busy wreaths that swirled with strands of beard or sailor-like knots of strands. Generally signs of mourning, the creations could additionally be candied break of devotion, complete with beard from spouses, family, and friends.
Bilenker’s assignment is not a badge for the ancient but a delineation of lived intimacy. In her works, she presents moments of calm life, downsizing them into miniatures or framing them central lockets. Her pieces affection awful banal moments—an arm cracks an egg over a skillet, a woman kneels by her bathtub with a ablution brush—and scenes evocative of some of the lesser-publicized hours we all live. Bilenker serves as the model, documenting her domiciliary activities and again immortalizing them with her own locks. “I adore what beard brings to the work—when you’re alive with abstracts that aren’t fresh, they accept their own history.”
Born in Staten Island, Bilenker grew up amid New York and New Jersey afore relocating to Pennsylvania. She abounding the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, belief craft, jewelry, and metal-smithing. The artisan cites her father’s abecedarian photography as one of her aboriginal encounters with image-making, and recalls how, as a child, she would comedy with best artificial viewfinders. Her allure with the abeyant of two-dimensional works is one that remains. (In her new show, Bilenker plays with the viewfinder’s Victorian predecessor, the stereoscope, and addition antique of the 19th century, the adit book.)
Somewhat ironically, the article best seminal to Bilenker’s assignment with beard art is one that would accept absolutely beatific a Victorian to her amazement couch. It was created by American sculptor Tom Friedman in 1990: an accustomed bar of soap, accessory with a circling of his own pubic hair. “I affectionate of admired the blasphemy of it,” Bilenker says, “in agreement of the materials, but additionally the angelic aspect of spending the time to accomplish this absolutely perfect, absurd circling in the surface.”
Bilenker additionally cites the works of Impressionist painter Mary Cassatt as awful affecting to her: “one of the things that I absolutely acquisition absorbing is that she was affected to assignment at home.” As a changeable painter, she didn’t adore the aforementioned entitlements afforded to her macho counterparts. “She couldn’t acrylic in the ball halls and the cafes, and so she corrective these autogenous scenes that are so clandestine and so intimate. We get a actual autogenous appearance into the activity of the women about her, all the accustomed things that they would be accomplishing during the day.”
For Bilenker too it’s all about the calm sphere. Prompted by the pandemic, Bilenker relocated her flat to the bedchamber she shares with her bedmate and the basement of her abode in Philadelphia. But, as she explains, her works, which all activate with a photo, accept consistently displayed scenes aural her own calm sphere. “I taped my camera to the ceiling,” she says, abandoning the photos appropriate for her alternation of a bird’s-eye appearance of her bed. “All the altered things that appear throughout the day, sleeping, authoritative the bed, folding the laundry on the bed, accepting tea.” For Bilenker, hairwork is intimate, and what is added affectionate than our bare realities?
HomeWorks is on appearance at the Sienna Patti Abreast Gallery January 9 through February 11.
4+ Hairstyle Drawings – Hairstyle Drawings
| Encouraged to my own website, on this time period I’m going to show you about 4+ Hairstyle Drawings. Now, here is the first image: