Hair and Heads

This year our hair has taken on a new importance, with hairdressers often closed and we had to resort to innovative ideas to keep our hair clean and well-coiffed.

Looking at Hair and Heads gives us the chance to study Hairstyles in a little detail as they are definitely an important work of art and have been so since women discovered their reflections in a pool of still water.

Below is The Venus of Willendorf estimated to have been made 30,000 BCE. She was found in 1908 in Lower Austria. It would appear that she has braided hair though some experts have suggested she might be wearing a basket on her head!


Hairstyles are of course a sign of many things way beyond individual taste.

(Credit: Next Luxury)

Hair style can signify social class, age, marital status, racial identification, political beliefs, religious beliefs and attitudes about gender. Hair styles can also be used as a form of social control as exercised in many countries around the world. And even in socially more lenient societies such as here in Australia, hair styles worn by school children can still become an issue. Recently two Sudanese school girls were told to remove their braided hair as it did not conform with the school's uniform policy. The Sudanese braided hair style is quite beautiful in my opinion and I was relieved to hear that the issue was resolved and the girls were given an exemption.

(Credit: Pinterest)

Boys (and girls) with dreadlocks face expulsion from many schools. I'm not quite so keen on the dreadlocks but to each his/her own!


But in general I just love what the young are doing with their hair and if I was younger (much younger!) I would have tattoos and a crazy hairstyle. In fact you can now have what is called a Hair Tattoo! I rather fancy this one but would prefer to replace the soccer ball with the colours and pattern of the tartan worn by my Robertson or Ogilvie ancestors.


There are some artists who specialise in painting hair and it is very difficult to accomplish successfully. The image below is not a photograph but a painting by French artist Jacques Bodin. It is an amazing image but definitely blurs the line between painting and photography.

(Credit: Faith is Torment)

This is another painting by Bodin. The artistic style used by Bodin is called Hyperrealism which we will be examining after I get Heads out of my system!

(Credit: Xun Art Gallery)

I've looked at lots of images of Heads of Hair over the past couple of days and I really like the work of Spanish Magical Realism artist Chelin Sanjuan.

(Credit: Pinterest)

(Credit: Ego-AlterEgo)

In Sanjuan's work there is a touch of the Pre-Raphaelite style which is a favourite for many of us. This is Dante Gabriel Rossetti Bruna Brunelleschi painted in 1878 exemplifying the sensuality that accompanies this period and these artists. We will constantly return to the Pre-Raphaelites I can assure you.

(Credit: Pre Raphaelite Art)

This is a fascinating article about The power of Hair. The politics of Hair in a (South) African context by Shonisani Netshia

Paintings and sculptures throughout time give an excellent record of the history of hairstyles and how they have changed throughout time.