We seek protection: from the elements, from each other, from the world. How we manage this depends on our psychological and material resources – we usually feel they are inadequate. These images are from a series called ‘protective devices’ made with the performer John Callaghan
‘wigs’ and ‘beards’ – an inevitable theme in the ‘disguise’ series. It was only after I published the first images that I realised that this is reprising a project that I was involved with several years ago with artist Joanne Wardrop
false facial hair for women – a video-piece inspired by some wispy straw sideburns exhibited in the Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford accompanied by this label
These symbols of manhood were worn by the (Angolan) bride for a short time after the wedding ceremony before moving into her husband’s home
During the project, archive footage came to light, revealing that the hair pieces were used in a performance that could be understood as an extended ‘hen party’.
how we see ourselves, how others see us, how we might change that.
masks help us to blend in with the crowd, sometimes our efforts are laughable, sometimes that’s the point. Workshops with young people explored this idea, exaggerating the common tropes of wigs, beards and glasses to enjoy the possibilities of trying out alternative identities.