"Hairdressers are my heroes," proclaims Sonya Clark, pointing to the poetry, politics, and legacy of Black hair care specialists. Salon Time, features three artists who examine and celebrate the ritual time and material culture surrounding Black women’s hair care. Working in photography, printmaking, and performance, Sonya Clark and Althea Murphy-Price emphasize the repetitive, ritualized labor involved in crafting with material, and make clear connection between creating artworks and the activities of designing and caring for intricate hairstyles.
Clark and Murphy-Price also emphasize girlhood and the formation of identity in their artwork, demonstrating how Black female identity is linked personally and politically to the rituals and expectations of hair care.
Nontsikelelo Mutiti’s graphic design work considers braiding as a communication tool across history and geographical borders. Mutiti sees braiding as a marker of African diaspora, and as a form of code that links it to our present digital languages.
All three participating artists see Black hair care as a vital connecting thread between generations of women – historical, present, and future.