Parlor Project

2005-2007

This body of work explores the waning culture of small neighborhood beauty parlors and their clientele.  Photography and video were used to capture the weekly practice of a generation of women, with sculptural works and found objects that respond to that history and experience.

These women (who are now aging, and perhaps elderly) sought/seek beauty, personal attention, comfort and the camaraderie offered at the beauty parlor.  To me this seems a temporal phenomenon, one that might disappear as these generations of women do.  Warmth, tenderness and nostalgia are woven into the spaces of these parlors, which are so often located within aged storefronts, tucked into neighborhoods, or hidden in strip malls.

I am fascinated by the activities that occur inside of these spaces – colors, objects and people who inhabit them and the unique intimacy that is framed by curlers, hairdryers, graying hair and the beauty of wrinkled hands.  Within the seemingly simple act of the weekly routine of getting a roller set is a much larger impact of the interaction and relationships fostered here.