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Indepth Arts News:

"Nails, Weaves and Naturals: Black British Hairstyles and Nail Art"
2001-04-23 until 2001-05-20
Victoria and Albert Museum
London, , UK

Nails, Weaves and Naturals: Black British Hairstyles and Nail Art is the Victoria and Albert Museums second event in its innovative annual, Day of Record series, to catalogue applied and decorative arts in relation to the body. On British Bank Holiday Monday 7 May visitors at the Cromwell Road entrance of the V&A wearing elaborate nail art or a hairstyle associated with the African Diaspora such as baby dreds or a pompadour multi-coloured weave will be admitted free of charge into the museum.

Braiding, cornrows, twists, relaxed hair, afros, skiffles, conks, dreds, perms, dreadlocks, double twists, crimped locs, curly-perm, bantu knots, Nubian knots waves, weave-ons, bal heads, afro puffs, threading, GI-cut, tramlines, African platts, finger waves, philly cut, flat twists ... these are just some of the names and descriptions used to describe the colossal number of hairstyles associated with all sections of Black culture in Britain, and by extension the African Diaspora. In the last two years a large number of Black British women have heightened their beauty regime with elaborate nail art.

The event will digitally record hairstyles and nail art worn by men, women and children from across Britain to increase the documentation of Black British culture. The day is also open to non-Blacks who have Black inspired hairstyles.

In support of the Day, a series of talks and demonstrations by practitioners and specialists of the subjects will be presented throughout the day in the lecture theatre. Artists will be on hand to give visitors a braided hair extension or decorate a nail. A display of objects and photographs indicating the historical development of black hairstyle will also be on view in the link corridor display wall from 23 April to 20 May. To complement the photographic archive visitors are invited to join informal drop in discussions and share their memories of past hairstyles and hairdressing experiences. Sessions will be at 11.00, 12.30, 2.00 and 3.30.

Carol Tulloch, curator of the newly established Archives and Museums of Black Heritage, is the external curator and Shaun Cole is the V&A curator of the day.

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