Learning to Braid by My Mother's Hair

Driftwood, braided sisal fiber, plaster, oil, pigment

2021

38"x23"x34", dimensions variable

This work touches on the ways in which, as children, we learn to be attuned to the other. It is a dialogue between “attuned to” and “tending to.” It is a place of waiting. And it’s the echo chamber of that place—of being left to one’s own devices in the absence (or absent presence) of another.

The process of making this work involved unwinding dozens and dozens of lengths of sisal fiber twine. I straightened, cleaned, and untangled the material in preparation to braid it. The act of braiding became an enactment of a role reversal, in which I (daughter) tended to my mother’s hair. Fully extended, the braid is approximately 84 inches long.