12 August 2009

AMMO presents work by LOREN SCHWERD

The directors of AMMO are pleased to present an exhibition of works by Loren Schwerd, from her acclaimed series of hair sculptures, “Mourning

Portrait”. The exhibition opens on Saturday, August 15, with an opening reception from 6 -9pm, and will be on view at AMMO, located at 938 Royal

Street in the French Quarter, through September 16, 2009.

“Mourning Portrait” is a series of memorials to the communities of New Orleans that were devastated by the federal levee breaches following Hurricane Katrina. The sculptures are made of human and synthetic hair extensions and wigs that were discarded outside the St Claude Beauty Supply in the fall of 2005. The sculptures interpret many of the abandoned homes of the Ninth Ward.

Schwerd draws on the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century tradition of hairwork, in which family members or artisans would fashion the hair of the deceased into intricate jewelry and sentimental objects and memento mori. Hair serves as the essential metaphor of this exhibit, by evoking a sense of profound intimacy and absence.

Her sculptures portay individual residences, many of which are no longer standing. Collectively, Mourning Portrait venerates the less of entire neighborhoods and communities. Schwerd’s “Mourning Portrait” series was featured on the cover of the November 2008 FiberArts Magazine, and has toured extensively in the United States.


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