Sonya Clark


Short, cropped, and natural. That was my hairstyle for many years. When I started allowing it to grow, hair which had long been a subject in my work also became my medium. Hair is power. Note the Samson myth, Rastafarian dreadlocks, and Angela Davis’s Afro of the 1960s. It grows approximately 5 inches a year and measures our lives like Lachesis of the Three Fates in Greek mythology. As carrier of DNA, hair holds the essence of identity. Deep within each strand, the vestiges of our roots resound. In this work hair is formed into markers of chronology, wisdom, and adornment.

“Her inventive use of forms and bright colors make this work a strong statement of cultural identity.”

—Monica Blackmun Visona, Michael Harris, et al
A History of Art in Africa