Human hair, mixed media
19" x 23" x 3.5"
"Mourning Portrait, is a series of memorials to the communities of New Orleans that were devastated by the flooding which followed Hurricane Katrina. These commemorative objects are made from human hair extensions of the type commonly used by African-American women that I found outside the St. Claude Beauty Supply. The portraits draw on the eighteenth and nineteenth-century tradition of hairwork, in which family members or artisans would fashion the hair of the deceased into intricate jewelry and other objects as symbols of death and rebirth. Working from my own photographs I weave the hair into portraits of the vacant houses of the Ninth Ward neighborhood. By documenting private homes, I venerate the city's losses, both individual and collective."
See more work from her Mourning Portrait series here.
Opening is from 6-9 pm, Saturday August 15, 2009
938 Royal Street
New Orleans, LA 70116
Ms. Schwerd was featured on the cover of the Nov/Dec 2008 issue of FiberARTS magazine