into death so loved.

FA+ (Ingrid Falk & Gustavo Aguerre)

Site-specific installation - Hair on water. In the Falun stream between the bridges Falun and Klabb

Duplicate 07 - Falun Triennial of Contemporary Print Art

Curated by Åsa Andersson Broms

Falun, Sweden - August / September 2007




Around my neck is placed the chain of hair that is made in memory of the one I loved the most, into death so loved.


Hårkullor - The Hair-ladies -

1800’s was a hard time in Sweden. Several years with bad weather conditions in a row gave poor harvest if any. Basic food’s reserves run out. The price of the grain was sky-high. Unemployment and depression, factories closing down, farmers had to give up. The people had to leave the villages to look for jobs. The ones who could, emigrated to the new world, the ones that could not has to face hunger and even starvation. The people were in a desperate need to find new ways to make their living.

hair ladies

In the little village of Våmhus in the region of Dalecarlia, central Sweden, some women revived the almost forgotten handicraft of making bijouterie with hair. They sharpen their skills to perfection and start travelling to markets all around to sell their creations. They even took orders to do rings, watch chains, bracelets, necklaces, and brooches with the hair of the customers and the name of the beloved wrapped up into it. They reached Stockholm; the hair-jewellery was a success. Because the Napoleon’s wars it was almost impossible to find gold or precious metals. The works on hair was a perfect substitute. The women with their classical dresses from the region were known as “hårkullor” – hair ladies -. Encouraged they start to travel abroad. The Nordic countries, Germany, Russia, Scotland, England, these brave woman leave their families and travel in groups whit no male company and without knowing the language, taking the youngsters as trainees. The trips were normally for a season but it could take up to two years. Some of them became even famous, like Jek Mait in London who delivered her work to the Queen Victoria and the English aristocracy.
They send most of the money home and by that way they did not only save their families and villages from hunger but also, being the product of their work the highest income of the region, help to the economical recovery of their country. They performance was also revolutionary in bringing up the position, importance and relevance of the woman in society. In their humble way, we can even say, they open the road for women to claim their rights, among others, to vote.


To see today hair artwork and learn more about it, look at:

hair art

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