Rebecca Drolen: Hair Pieces
This week we are sharing work submitted to Lenscratch…
Humorous with the approach to her subject matter, thought provoking and beautiful, Rebecca Drolen’s work considers the way that our society views hair.
Rebecca Drolen received her MFA in Photography from Indiana University in 2009. She joined the art department at Belmont University in Nashville, TN in the Fall of 2013, before which she served as a Faculty Fellow at the University of Georgia and as an assistant professor at Michigan State University. Drolen’s photographic work explores constructed narratives, using the element of truth that a photograph carries to imagine and validate impossible scenes. Her work has been shown in group and solo exhibitions on a national and international level, notably, the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, Texas Tech University, and the Theory of Clouds Gallery in Kobe, Japan. Drolen has had work published in several art magazines and has a piece held in the permanent collection at McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana.
In my work, Hair Pieces, I am interested in exploring the fickle relationship most have with their body hair. We consider some hair very desirable and grow and groom it with care, while we treat other hair as shameful and cover or remove it. Once hair has become disconnected from our bodies, we treat it with disgust, yet it has an archival, lasting presence that outlives the body and defies death and decay.
I am interested in the line between the beautiful and the grotesque in our connection with hair. I am intrigued by the rules that guide our ideas and self-image in relation to our tresses. In the work, I use photography and the self-portrait as a medium to construct narratives that function both as visual puns and, at times, as social critique. I hope to use the beautiful alongside the repulsive in these images to tell stories of growth and removal as they examine a surreal relationship between hair and its place.