The aim for the project was to create a piece or pieces of work that spoke about black afro hair. The idea was to embrace, rather than expose
natural hair. When I first began to decide on an outcome I decided I wanted it to be a photography based project. Each photograph that I have
taken of each girl has been significant in producing the outcome. The process of going out and taking the photographs, setting up the position
of the girl, choosing the time to shoot, choosing and finding the setting for the background and communicating with each girl photographed
has shaped the way that the images have been taken and developed. Finding out from a face to face perspective someone’s insecurities and
feelings towards themselves as an individual and their consciousness as part of a racial or social culture became research and documentation
within itself. Throughout the process I experimented a lot by just creating images as reactions to thoughts that I have processed when taking
photographs, researching and communicating. The final photographs were a reflection of what I felt were the significant moments throughout
out the process and reflected the emotions and aesthetic of the women.
The project enabled me develop my abilities using film and digital photography. It has given me personal experiences with the women being
photographed. Finding out from a personal face to face perspective their insecurities, their feelings towards themselves as an individual and
their consciousness as part of a racial or social culture. Creating a folio of images from different women that I do not know has helped with
technical abilities, professional abilities. I have learnt the importance of attention to detail, thinking about the background more deeply and
choosing the water as a backdrop gave the images much more depth and meaning and made the photos more spiritual and emotional. I believe
that the combs and the concept behind them using the symbolism links the well with the book and photographic outcome as it becomes instantly
recognizable what the piece is about. I think in a professional exhibition atmosphere the images and combs would work well beside each
other and could almost become story telling by pairing the different symbols with the different women’s beliefs and experiences. I have learnt
that to keep consistency within a series of work you need to pay attention to detail as I came to find when the two girls Pauline and Shirley’s
images lacked continuity because of the location they were taken and the time of day. If I were to continue the project which I plan to I’d maybe
utilize this and use a lot of varied locations so that there was continuity in the composition rather than the colours and lighting. Overall I think
that the project was successful in fulfilling the brief and I can imagine the images and the combs displayed in a gallery. The project has developed
my work in many ways. Because this became such a big project I believe it was successful in refining and editing down all my ideas to
reflect the concept in an interesting and contained way. The book gives an insight into each girl as well as focusing on the hair, which is drawn
together with the text. I chose not to add a title to the book as I wanted the inside text to act as a title and to be interpreted against the images.
Within my wider practice this project felt more personal to the other two projects for my FMP. It gave me the chance to explore and experiment
with my thoughts and feelings and put them into my work, this rounded off the FMP as a whole as I got to do a big project that was more
self-expression alongside two other projects that were more controlled and less conceptual.
For my first final outcome I
decided to create a book to
document the series of photographs
of the girls. I chose 5
images for each girl, one being
blow up over a spread. I chose
the large images because those
were the images I felt connected
to emotionall, whilst still
being focused on the aesthetic
of the hair.
For the second outcome I designed and laser cut four different comes, deciding on three
as the finals. I used a 6mm plywood. I used details from some of the combs I had seen in my research to create similar patterns and shapes to those found in ancient hand carved combs. I used the three symbols as features of the combs on the handles. I could imagine the combs to be exhibited at a gallery on a plinth, perhaps being stood up using
hair glue similar to the images. I could also see these combs being custom made to be sold at specialist events such as art events or maybe events similar promoting/ embracing black culture, such as the ‘Hair Today, Hair Tomorrow’ event.
The combs could be displayed alongside thegirls that I had photographed and could represent the journey or present situation of each girl. If I were to match them up for an exhibition I would match: Nona: Strength Malaika: Beauty Zahra: Loyalty as these symbols reflect the stages that I feel they are each in.
I began to experiment with the
images to see how they could
be layed out and displayed in
an exhibition/ gallery format. I
tested cropping the images and
narrowed the images down that
work best along side eachother
in their sets and as a whole.
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I chose this image to be in
large format as the image of
her looking out at the water
feels like she is connected to
the water. Though her back
is turned she is comfortable
removing herself from social
expectations and continues to
head in the direction of purity.
Again I chose these particular
images because of
the serenity throughout the
images. Zahra feels strength
in having her hair natural
and feels it is the only way
she could be.
I chose these particular images
as I believe they too reflect
the personalilty of Malaika.
The images of her with
her wig seem more passive
compared to the powerful
images when she has taken
her wig off. The light on the
top on Malaikas head with
her natural hair looks like a
halo and her head tilted up
towards the light suggests
freedom and serenity.