Melbourne born Deborah Klein lived in London for many
years before returning to Australia where she studied art at the
Chisholm Institute of Technology and Monash University.
Inspired by a linocut that she had produced of a braid
of hair for an exhibition in 1998, Klein has gone on to produce an
extensive body of work focusing on hair and hair ornaments.
For the artist, this subject, depending upon its context, can evoke
emotions and sensations ranging from the erotic to the creepy.
Klein's fascination with women's hair and its
embellishments has been fuelled by a number of different sources,
including illustrations of sailing knots, hairdressing
magazines and portraits of Elizabethan aristocrats
With the main focus being on the scalp rather than the face, the
sitter in this larger than life-size work has been forced to turn
away in order to display her elaborate coiffure. Klein said
of this series in an interview in The Age on 4th February,
2004: "when the work got bigger and bolder... it became
much more confronting… and like the earlier works the new pieces
suggest absences, erasures and forced anonymity."