artpost: a practice fallen from style

My memory tickled by a conversation I had that mentioned Victorian Memento Mori, I spent a bit of time on Sunday fruitlessly searching for a particularly nice contemporary hair artist I’d found on-line two or three years ago that I intended to post about, but never got around to. Today, oddly, not even a week later, the artist has fallen directly in my lap via my friends over at Ectomo and she’s gotten even better:

“Melanie Bilenker makes jewelry from precious metals, resin, wood, and her own hair, arranging the strands into tiny snapshots of everyday life.”

chocolate, 2008

brooch, 9.5 x 7 x 1 cm, Gold, ebony, resin, pigment, hair.

From her site:

The Victorians kept lockets of hair and miniature portraits painted with ground hair and pigment to secure the memory of a lost love. In much the same way, I secure my memories through photographic images rendered in lines of my own hair, the physical remnants. I do not reproduce events, but quiet minutes, the mundane, the domestic, the ordinary moments.

(I used to do this with Antony in the shower, make tiny, ephemeral pictures of our life together on the tiles of the wall with our shed hair. Our lines were not half so fluid as Melanie Bilenker’s, but they were ours and sweet and fun. Every day we would wash them away and draw something new. Now, years later, I should regret I never took a picture, but it is enough for me that they were there.)

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