BA Fine Art
Central Saint Martins
At the forefront of Carianne Annan’s practice is the relationship between race and art, exploring the exclusivity of the traditional arts institutions, where people of colour are often not as visible as they should be. Annan wants to represent black culture in the art world, which is why she has concentrated much of her practice around the traditionally black space: the Afro Caribbean hair salon. The Afro Caribbean salon is seen as more than just a place to get your hair styled. The salon is seen almost as a church, a congregational meeting ground where people can chat, socialise and gossip. You can hang out with friends and get a feeling of belonging. Black hair holds another level of fascination for Annan, as she herself is a hairdresser as well as an artist—although she sees her hairdressing work as another form of art. Black women come to see her, and they get more than just a new hairstyle. They are able to chat, unloading their problems and sharing stories. When they leave they have been transformed, with a new hairstyle and often a new outlook on things, thanks to the cathartic nature of socialising. In a way, they have been transformed into a new work of art.