We hope you can help Ruma celebrate this fantastic achievement at the opening on Friday the 2nd of August. Click on the invitations below for more details. Ruma's art is a fascinating combination of her arts training and her experience as a hairdresser, you can read about what motivates her work below.
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Drawing upon 10 years of hairdressing experience, it is understandable that hair has become an important part of my life. Not only does it make a person’s appearance, it also says a lot about their personality and self-worth. Everyone knows when they having a bad day or when they are in need of a haircut no matter how shallow they are. Once they have left the hairdresser’s they often feel like a brand new person even if they only lost a centimetre off their hair. To be the person that can change someone’s appearance and have such an impact on their self-confidence is really quite empowering.
Cutting hair used to scare me, it was the one thing I feared most as I was learning, knowing that once the hair is cut there is no way to stick it back on, no way to rewind the clock. Mistakes were obvious and difficult to correct but once I mastered the technique there was no looking back.
I’m a very textural person, from visual patterns to surfaces that are sensitive to touch, every element matters. This is even more true to hair, no two people have the same textured hair and the differences define what you can do to it. This resonates strongly back to my art where I use my knowledge of the textural quality of hair as the core inspiration of my work. I let the materials dictate what I do, from creating the designs, sculpting the lino to assembling the elements into a finished work. It is all about process rather than the finished product. This is just like the hair on someone’s head, falling in its own way with each strand needing individual attention.
The human hair I use in my work comes from the hair extensions that I have collected over the years. Human hair has a softness and delicateness that is easy to manipulate from straight to curly, bouncy to flat. This contrasts with the horse hair that is strong, wiry and difficult to manipulate, it dictates to me where it wants to lay. Collected from a few sources, horse hair is quite valuable especially in the grooming of dressage competitors, which has resulted in sourcing the supply of a long black tail from a deceased horse.
My process is strongly dictated by documentation, analysing and recording all the bits and pieces that interest me along the way as well as the hours spent photographing of all the different compositions I trial to create the finished work. Even though I am predominantly a printmaker using traditional techniques, the contemporary presentation and framing of the work is very important to the end product.
The images I create begin with scanned strands of hair, with the emphasis on the linear quality and the natural shapes and patterns that intertwine and interact with each other. My work is multi dimensional, creating optical illusions that alter the viewer's sensation of depth and perspective. This is also combined with the repeated, mirrored and intricate designs that are inspired by my Bangladeshi heritage. I have always believed that where you come from defines who you are and I felt it was important to explore this completely different culture through my work and give a little more of who I am in my art.
- Ruma Hort, 2013.