A new exhibition by interdisciplinary artist Shani Crowe in Brooklyn, New York, celebrates the practice of “braiding” hair, a collective experience for black women across the world. Her collection of 10 black-and-white photos showcases both the traditional value of hair braiding as well as its contemporary relevance. “I wanted to create images that portray black women in a way that would inspire them not to be necessarily pretty, which is what most beauty stuff is about, but to kind of embody that and more within themselves,” Crowe told The New York Times. “Everything starts within you and how you feel about yourself. It’s just trying to glorify black women and make them imagine themselves beyond their wildest dreams.”
While Crowe is definitely not the first artist to celebrate the practice, her impressive, intricate braiding designs imbue the photos with a particular power. “It’s hard to put into words because at face value we’ve seen these pictures before,” said Allison Davis, associate artistic director of MoCada. “But there’s something about the black and white, the clarity of the light, the models she chose. There’s an unapologetic, unwavering gaze that really strikes you.” The exhibition is on show through the end of November.
Read the full story at The New York Times.