Ezra H. Murray for Art-Sheep
Berlin-based designer Sybille Paulsen metamorphoses women’s lost hair to chemo into necklaces, in an attempt to help them cope with the difficulty to express difficult emotions otherwise hard to evoke. “Each woman is touched differently by the sickness and its treatment. Not only the person concerned but also the people around them pass through a transformation in this period. Her partner, her family and friends experience her sickness in a personal manner as well. The artefacts that I create of the hair, mark this transformation and disclose a new access for the people involved to the commonly overwhelming situation”, says Paulsen in her website.
The project is called “Tangible Truths” and is an extraordinary combination of the designer’s interest in hair as a material for the creation of artefacts with the wants of women suffering from cancer. All of Paulsen’s pieces are meticulously handcrafted and can take days or even weeks before they are transformed into exquisite, palpable objects that appeal to an urge to interconnect with them and the stories behind them. She also creates braid wristbands or necklaces for family members or close friends of the women affected.
Cancer cannot be taken lightly. Yet, there are so many ways to deal with it and this is one very creative and personal way to go through such a heart wrenching phase.
“What Sybille created touched me really deeply. The free flow design of the project meant that my hair had not been transformed simply into a piece of art that was separate from me, the flow of the necklace she created somehow seemed to still hold pieces of me within it. The waves of the hair … still looked so alive and so full of life. … Her work touched not only me, but also those close to me here in Berlin who have seen it or seen the pictures. One person close to me even teared up because the necklace still looked like my hair and was a reminder of what it had been. … I was impressed by what she had produced and very proud to have been a part of her project. … I love the idea of helping create beauty out of what for many of us is a ugly process: chemotherapy.”.
— Mary Beth