In her new exhibition at the Burrard Arts Foundation (BAF) Gallery, Vancouver Community College (VCC) Jewellery Art and Design instructor Karin Jones is challenging our assumptions, beliefs, and conventions about beauty through works of art featuring human hair.
The exhibition, entitled The Golden Section, features geometric arrangements made from bleached-blonde human hair extensions that were produced in Asia and purchased locally. Showcasing traditional knotting and wig-making methods, the intricately arranged hair compositions continue Karin’s longstanding artistic exploration of identity and race.
In addition to the wall arrangements in the exhibition is an innovative necklace that juxtaposes an intricate, pale braid against a tubed vessel holding African hair.
As per the exhibition text: “For most of us, hair is ubiquitous. We encounter it on a daily basis, admiring its crop or bounce, or negotiating its care, styling or removal. It can convey personal beliefs or social position and motivate judgements regarding health or wealth. Detached hair, depending on where it lands, can inspire disgust – as an unwanted discovery in a bowl of soup, for one example. On the other hand, the desire for lengths of hair of a particular aesthetic fuels a global human hair industry that generates hundreds of millions of dollars annually – hair that is longer, thicker, straighter, or lighter.”
The Golden Section opened Thursday, Jan. 13 and will run until Saturday, March 19 at the BAF Gallery located at 2-258 East 1st Ave. in Vancouver.
Karin’s exhibition is presented alongside works by visual artist Sara Khan. Both exhibitions are the culmination of the artists’ studio residencies at BAF in late 2021.