‘Extension’ tracks the visual and sonic history of a hair extension sourced from a hair and beauty salon in London, back to the Shri Venkateswara Hindu Temple in Chennai, India, where the hair was offered in an act of religious tonsure. The project focusses on the physical materiality of the hair and the shift in value as it travels from a religious to a commercial context.
It was originally presented at the Digital Gallery, LSBU, London in April 2015, as an immersive installation of film work and soundscape. It was later presented as a visual archive of project and live performance, as part of Deptford X, at the Art Hub Gallery, Deptford, London.
In 2016, ‘Extension’ has been reinterpreted as a ‘Self-Assembly Artist’s Book’, to be put online as a free download. The book takes the form of a leporello, with a visual narrative of the hair’s journey and a Qr code, that links to the soundscape on Soundcloud of the micrographs and journey interpreted as a sonic score.
This collaboration with visual artist Dot Young was a fantastically exploratorive experience including highlights such as a research and recording trip to the Tividale Tirupathy Balaji Temple in Oldbury and a foray into image sonification via the use of microscopic images of the hair extension.