Wednesday, September 1, 2021
I Am More Than My Hair
began with Alyscia Cunningham’s eponymous book and film in which she advances the dialogue around the beauty standard of female baldness and captures the stories of girls and women who have lost their hair due to medical conditions or by choice.
“If you look towards the media to define what’s beautiful, baldness is not a look that is considered attractive,” says Ms. Cunningham. She notes that from the time girls are young, they are pressured into set beauty standards, with a high value placed on hair. Through this project, Ms. Cunningham hopes to change the way people view beauty, female hair loss, and baldness. “Every woman, young and old, needs to know that she is naturally beautiful. Stop allowing society to dictate our beauty.”
The exhibit further breaks barriers of accessibility through its use of lithophanes, raised reliefs that interact with light, to create a unique experience. The issue of accessibility became of paramount importance to Ms. Cunningham after attending a meeting of the National Federation of the Blind last year. “It was shocking to learn about the lack of accessibility in the arts and how blind and low vision audiences aren’t considered. I left the meeting feeling inspired enough to make it mandatory that any venue, gallery, or museum that requests my work, must agree that it will be made accessible for audiences with low vision and hearing.” Audio descriptions will also accompany the works.