"This series takes the Victorian women's practice of sentimental hairwork as its jumping-off point. For the Victorians, mourning was a very public act. Rather than a private emotion or an embarrassment, grief was a popular motif for the arts and fashion. What strikes modern sensibilities as mawkish and overly sentimental behavior was, at the time, considered proof of a person's sincerity and morality. Ornamental hairwork, painstakingly crafted from the hair of loved ones, was a fashion that insisted the wearer embodied these virtues.
That the hair must be severed from the body to be worked in this fashion is a compelling aspect of the practice for me. It loses its essential quality of referring to a specific person, while still being a distinctively “personal” object. In a sense, the story of hairwork is a testament not of our capacity to remember our lost loved ones, but of our ultimate inability to hold onto them." - Spencer Merolla
Susan makes “Bits”, which are small unique objects outfitted with a magnet on the back. They can exist as their own independent work of art, for they are really quite lovely all by themselves, but Bits are intended to be grouped together so as to create something larger, something with a life force.
Magnets offer the perfect mounting system for infinite potential configurations when placed en masse on a steel canvas. Bits are not meant to be still, they are meant to be perpetually deconstructed and reconstructed. It’s the whole point. Weinthaler lives with her family in New York City... read more