The delicate beauty of French-Algerian artist Alice Andersen's incredible art evokes both metallic strength and wispy fragility for the viewer. Each work exposes her childhood anxieties, with gentle twining of copper and whispers of doll's hair.
According to a Huffington Post by Hallie Sekoff, because she was a painfully anxious child who struggled to speak, Anderson found relief in ritualistic activities -- namely weaving threads that both bind and unravel (from her clothing as well as her own hair) around objects. Each thread in her work would later on hold in place the bricks and mortars of each memory.
In her 2011 London project, she would state,
“I remember the terrible fears I used to have when I was a child left alone at home for many long hours waiting for the return of my mother. At that time I invented rituals for myself to calm my anxieties. These rituals consisted of undoing the threads from seams and I wound these threads around parts of my body and other objects. Later I began to use my hair instead of thread.”
The copper and doll's hair artwork and installations have been referred to in the Whitechapel Gallery as tactile, complex, and evoking a delicate beauty, representing the bond between mother and child.
Still representing themes of childhood anxieties, in Andersen's 2011 project,"Childhood Rituals", she used the dolls' hair in a manner which is entirely new in her work.
According to the Freud exhibition statement, "As a wry play on Freud's idea that weaving is a cover for 'genital deficiency', she takes Anna Freud’s loom as a starting-point and arranges the dolls hair in lines and grids, straightening the strands into taught ropes. The masculine associations of the grid, with its formalist claims to disembodied abstraction, are destabilised by the corporeal and feminine associations of the dolls hair."