The concept is an interactive experience where participants were asked to braid hair.  They wrote on cards why they chose the hair color and accessories and what the braiding experience meant to them.  Hair braiding can bring back memories from childhood that stay with us throughout our lives. The 80 braids below were made by visitors to studio 331 at the Torpedo Factory, Alexandria, VA and will be used by Pauline to make new artwork.

Braids on Studio Wall

Quotes of Participants

“Braiding to me is a calming technique.  I love braiding nappy, coarse hair.  It’s easy to grab, twist, and design.”

“I chose these colors because I like how green and black really matched together.  The green and black reminded me that during dark times there is always a light to help you.”

“Picked brown hair for my sister’s hair, black for me, and pink because I like it.”

“I chose the blue yarn, blonde, brown and black hair because I wanted to experiment with creative thoughts and it became very pleasing.  This was my first braid.”

“My colors:  2 strands of brown and 1 blonde hair, 4 strands of green yarn, 1 clear bead.  I chose the brown to represent earth, dirt, the ground. I chose green to represent the forest because being outside in the woods is where I find peace.  I chose one clear bead to represent the clarity of thoughts I receive when I am in nature.”

“I chose brown hair to represent me and blonde to represent summer.  The purple yarn represents self and how I struggle feeling confident in my own hair.  Purple is beautiful.”

“Braiding is a creative skill.  It (my braid) represents my natural black hair, and reddish strands are for hope. “

“I chose the strands because I wanted variety and color.  Braids to me are reminiscent of innocence and childhood.”

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