Hair, the way it is styled and cut, is a form of expression, but for Magdalena Kmiecik it is also a symbol for the passing of time and the change associated with it
In her latest project, Polish-born photographer Magdalena Kmiecik explores our relationship with hair – how we cut and style it to feel better about ourselves, and how our hair grows with us, and ages with us. The project is a continuation of her previous project, When The Hair Grows, which considers hair as a reflection of a person’s personality and character, or cultural status.
“A typical reaction many women have when they want to change something in their lives is to visit a hairdresser to cut their hair. They believe that in this way they will [sever] the past from the present, and a part of their history will become detached from them. “I started to work with this theme and after a while realised that hair had become my obsession – a harmless fetish,” she says.
While this project looked at hair as a sign of vitality, or a form of expression, her latest, Hair: in the relationship with… [above], focuses on the relationships and influence between people, nature, animals and other objects, with hair playing a connecting role.
“Another aspect I want to develop is the passing of time, shown through the human body; for example, grey hair and the process of ageing as the ultimate, physical aspect of our lives.”
The subjects in her images are mainly people Kmiecik knows, although sometimes they are people she has met in passing. All the images are carefully planned. “I’m always aware what kind of light I might be able to use – if I can use daylight, or whether I need to take extra lights with me. The same is true of composition. I take into consideration what I have planned to do – a landscape, portrait or a detail. There isn’t a single picture made by accident. Sometimes an unexpected moment can happen, but mostly it is just an exciting moment that can have a positive influence on the image.”