Heads 'n' Tales

Visual Arts Project 2008 - 2009

"Hair is a protection women are wrapped in, it is like a caterpillar in a cocoon, but yet hair is more friendly as a cocoon eliminates the subject. Silk, hair, wool, are everywhere. Skeins are put together in a methodical fashion, whereas hair is unruly and free. It has to be retained or braided. Hair as an iconographic symbol and a formal motif in myths and fairytales, sometimes having a beneficial function, it is especially feminine, a sign of beauty as in the stories of Ophelia and Magdalene"...

Louise Bourgeois

Rhonda Fenwick initiated the project in association with 'Think Burnham' to help raise the profile of Burnham and surrounding area, and also to engage with the local community, schools, businesses and St Peter's Church in Burnham High Street.

The project began in the following hair salons: Define Hair and Beauty, Freedom Hair Design, Head First, Natural Hair Room, The Edge and The Strand. Regarding the salons as social spaces where people meet to have their hair cut/styled/coloured, swap stories about themselves and their communities. Some people regard their hairdresser as a therapist/analyst and perhaps feel they are able to offload when they are having their hair done. This can help in some way towards maintaining their health and well-being. Whether we try to grow it on one part of our body or get rid of it on another, hair helps us to keep warm, demonstrate our personality, it expresses our health, our desire, our state of mind and our cultural background.

As has always been the case in every country since history began, hair still possesses powerful symbolic and evocative properties. An object of traditions and beliefs, a sign with hierarchical, religious or mystical significance, it also indicates an established order or a refusal to comply with one. In addition, it is a means of projecting the image we have of ourselves and in fact plays a multiplicity of roles. It is not therefore by chance that hair has taken such an important place in everyday language.

The Think! Burnham steering group are delighted to offer support to this exciting project.

All those who live, work and/or care about Burnham know that the development and sustaining of 'the spirit of community' is a vital factor in ensuring a strong sense of well-being within the village and its hinterland. We are very fortunate in Burnham to already enjoy the support of many businesses, organisations and voluntary groups who care deeply about Burnham's quality of life and there is a wonderful diversity of contributions that are already being made. However, innovation should also be welcomed and encouraged and it is a tribute to Rhonda Fenwick that she has so quickly found a way to offer her own talent and insight into helping make Burnham a happier and enriched community. The 'Heads N' Tales' Project illustrates how the arts can play an important role in seeking out even more talent who have been working collaboratively whilst also building links with local schools.

Viv Nicholas
Think! Burnham