Karin Jones explores the ways in which hair can help to form our identities, socially, culturally, and racially. Primarily, she is concerned with the suppression of African hair in favour a “whiter” look achieved through weaves, extensions and straightening techniques.
Coming from a jewellery background, she chose to use Victorian hair jewellery as a starting point, and began braiding synthetic hair extensions according to complex patterns used in Victorian times in Hair Brooch: Black to question ideas of hair as commodity. Eventually, she chose simple braids to reference Afrocentric hairstyles directly in Hair Brooch: Red. Through this work, she hopes to re-open some of the conversations about African hair as symbol of status and power that were begun in the 1960's with rise of the Afro. Brooches are hand-constructed out of manufactured tubing, with commercial brooch findings. All braiding is done by hand.