I first attempted this concept of individually created hair pieces added to a figure sculpture in 2017 with 'Wild Hair. Although extremely challenging I found the process so rewarding. I have never seen anyone attempt such a sculpture and so had no other option but to start with an idea and learn by experience. In making the second hair sculpture 'Exuberance' I changed the making process and used wood dowels to improve the strength at each joint. These sculptures involve ridiculous hours of making, joining and then polishing each piece of hair, but the end result is a truly unique and impossible to replicate sculpture. So far I have made 6.
6 - SKYDANCER
This piece brought everything I have learnt so far together. Firstly I laminated a board of North American poplar wood into a large block to form the figure. Then 53 individual hair pieces were created out of reclamation oak and dowel jointed in, to produce one incredibly complex sculpture.
Height - 120 cm
5 - FREE SPIRIT
Developing on from 'Lady from the Sea' and the concept of escapement and freedom, this sculpture simply flowed into existence. I used the same sapele wood for the figure and ash wood as hair. I really enjoyed bringing beauty, strength and femininity to this 'Free Spirit'.
Height - 85 cm
4 - LADY FROM THE SEA
Inspired by a Henrik Ibsen play about a woman who's love of the sea elevated her spirit above a painful conflict between duty and her desires. In this sculpture I wanted to create the sense of the female rising, almost pulling herself up from the heavy base to escape from oppression. I only used 10 hair pieces in this sculpture and tried to create an impression of them being heavy and wet, as though just coming out from the sea.
Height - 85 cm
3 - ON THE BREEZE
TAKING THE HAIR SCULPTURE TO YET ANOTHER LEVEL! HERE THE TALL WILLOWY FIGURE SCULPTURE HAS 55 SEPARATELY CREATED HAIR PIECES FLOWING 'ON THE BREEZE' ALL AROUND HER.
I'M IMMENSELY PLEASED WITH THIS PIECE AS THE MOVEMENT OF THE FIGURE IS REALLY ACCENTUATED BY THE ADDED HAIR, EXACTLY AS DESIGNED, AND THE BATH STONE BASE GIVES A BEAUTIFUL CONTRAST AND STABILITY TO THE COMPLETED SCULPTURE.
THE FIGURE IS SAPELE WOOD AND THE HAIR PIECES ARE OF OAK.
HEIGHT - 88 cms
2 - EXUBERANCE
THIS IS A DEVELOPMENT OF THE HAIR SCULPTURE ABOVE,ONLY THIS TIME I HAVE USED OAK DOWELS INSERTED IN EACH HAIR PIECE AND THEN FITTED INTO DRILLED HOLES EXACTLY PLACED IN THE FIGURES SCALP. THIS IS AN INCREDIBLY TIME LABOURED PROCESS, THERE ARE 43 INDIVIDUALLY CARVED HAIR PIECES, JUST POLISHING THEM TAKES MANY, MANY HOURS! BUT THE END RESULT IS SO TOTALLY UNIQUE THAT IT WOULD BE REALISTICALLY IMPOSSIBLE TO REPEAT. I WANTED TO USE THE TECHNIQUE TO CREATE MOVEMENT IN THE SCULPTURE, AND GIVE THE ESSENCE OF 'EXUBERANCE' AND FREEDOM TO THE POSE.
THE MAIN FIGURE IS SCULPTED FROM CHERRY WOOD AND THE HAIR PIECES ARE MADE OF ASH. THE WHOLE SCULPTURE SITS ON A SAPELE BASE.
HEIGHT - 55 cms
1 - WILD HAIR
This sculpture is a new venture using many separately carved abstract shapes all entwined and fixed into the head of the dancer in dowel joint fashion. I have never seen another like it and despite the long hours spent creating the hair effect it is an concept I will definitely revisit and develop.
The figure is sapele wood and the 21 individual hair pieces are made of tulip wood. The sculpture is glued and screwed into a bathstone base to create stability.
Height - 90 cms