Falling Pretty

By Nathalie Brewer (Australia)

“I am a 40-year-old single mum who has been diagnosed with two types of cancers (breast and bowel) in the past two years. Part of my healing was to enrol into art school. During this amazing past 12months, I discovered a love for video art and sculpture and recording my deeply personal experiences of making art whilst going through cancer treatment.”

Falling Pretty is a project in which 3 site-sensitive hair installations are created upon objects from my everyday life where I experienced the initial shock of hair loss after chemotherapy. In this improvised performance, I rearrange my collected strands of hair in a way that infiltrates my private realm and makes pubic my relationship with treatment-related baldness.

In this piece, I resist the normative narrative in breast cancer culture to ‘perform survivorship’ (Neilsen, 2014). Instead, I seek to prolong and explore my intimate connection with my lost hair and rearrange the strands in the places they fell (bathroom tile, woollen jumper, bedroom pillow) according to the creative impulses of my subtle body.

Materials: Hair, knitted jumper, bathroom tile, hospital gloves, scissors, childhood blanket, pillow

Projections: personal photography of hair loss on location

Date of performance: 20th Sept 2018

Site of performance: Deakin University, Melbourne

Duration of performance: 38 min

Duration of Video: 14 min

Performed as part of a Masters of Education majoring in Fine Arts at Deakin University (Subject Code ACV102).

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