Hair to­day

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Mh­lungu

Visit wits.ac.za/wam for more in­for­ma­tion. Wits Art Mu­seum is open from 10am to 4pm, Wed­nes­day to

Sun­day. En­trance is free. The ex­hi­bi­tion runs un­til Novem­ber 2

Hair has a way of con­nect­ing peo­ple, and the art­work in bar­ber­shops across Africa is iconic.

The hair­cuts of Cris­tiano Ron­aldo, Lu­dacris, P Diddy, Michael Jor­dan and even Nel­son Man­dela have been in­spir­ing hair­styles for years. One of my favourite bar­ber­shop images shows rap­per Nelly cut­ting Barack Obama’s hair.

In many ways, bar­ber­shops and hair­dress­ing sa­lons have been func­tion­ing as in­for­mal sig­nage mu­se­ums for years. It seems ap­pro­pri­ate that th­ese un­con­ven­tional art­works have pride of place at the Wits Art Mu­seum in the ex­hi­bi­tion Do­ing Hair.

The art­work comes from var­i­ous parts of Africa – in­clud­ing Ghana – and cap­tures the vi­brancy of hair sa­lons. The ex­hi­bi­tion, which opened in Au­gust, ex­plores the place and role of hair in Africa, as well as its po­lit­i­cal, cul­tural, eco­nomic and so­cial mean­ing.

Also on dur­ing the ex­hi­bi­tion will be Hair Con­fes­sions – a paint­ing work­shop lead by artist Jessica Foli.

– Gugulethu

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