Power Suit

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Creative Work

Publication Date



The focus of this project began in utilizing hair as a vehicle to investigate rituals associated with mourning, grief, and the liminal space that exists between life and death. After an in depth search into the cultural, physical, spiritual, and material aspects of hair, I enacted process and labor to create a sculptural form that performs in response to grief.

I chose to work with acrylic hair, as it exists in a space between the real and unreal, and visually is absorbed as the uncanny representation of the separated body. I wanted to discuss the body, while emphasizing its absence. What covers and shelters our skin? Clothing, our clothing outlast our bodies, our hair outlasts our bodies. I made a gown of hair, seven feet in length, standing five feet tall. I wove this gown of hair, and rendered it inaccessible, or rather impenetrable. The collar tight to the neck, doubling as a source of protection and suffocation. The dress, a queen’s gown. As little girls, women dream to become queens, not because of the beautiful clothing, but because of the absolute positions of power, control, authority, and respect. This piece “Power Suit” is an attempt to take back the power and control that grief inflicts over the bodies that are left living in the wake of loss.


Mourning; Hair; Ritual; materiality; Uncanny; Body; Performance; Sculpture; Mourning jewelry


Art Practice | Fine Arts

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83 Kb

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

C.Cuda.Calvert Award Essay.pdf (82 kB)
Essay on Research and Process

C.Cuda.Calvert.Award.Bibliography.pdf (73 kB)

Power Suit.jpg (10487 kB)
Power Suit Image #1

Power Suit Detail.jpg (19997 kB)
Power Suit Image #2 (Detail)