Development work

"Hair, materiality, immanence and narrative" by Gunilla Pettersson

Researcher: Gunilla Pettersson

"Hair, materiality, immanence and narrative" is a development project by Gunilla Pettersson, Assistant Professor of Make-up and Wig Design.

My intention has been to investigate a design process based on materiality and visual expression. In this work, I wanted to highlight the visual design, letting it be the starting point for - and bearer of - narratives. I have chosen to use human hair. It is one of the most common materials in wig and mask design but also a complex material with immanent qualities, not entirely unproblematic connotations, and also with a socio-cultural problematic.
The choice to work abstractly and with objects has had a great impact on the project. Working with bodies as part of the design work would have been close to my profession and practice, but the absent body turned out to be more important for this project. The absent body paradoxically became more tangible and present. Clarified the obvious, that hair is also body. Reducing was a way of seeking the material's inherent potential for gestalt and an attempt to distill the material, the materiality, and the immanent qualities of the material. The system of codes and connotations attributed to bodies is also read into a material such as human hair. That which is not 'visible' but still acquires significance in an act of interpretation. That which can carry a narrativeact objects where this material is included.




Gunilla Pettersson Thafvelin, ‘Hair, Materiality and immanence‘, Stockholm University of the Arts (SKH), 0 (2022)