Decor and Design

Domestic Scenes: Hair & Consumerism at Robert Sherwood

Anna Verloren van Themaat and Alet Viljoen explore ways of seeing and living at their debut exhibition of large-scale photographs

Anna Verloren van Themaat / Alet Viljoen

Huishouding, Anna Verloren van Themaat, Alet Viljoen

Fashion stylist Anna Verloren van Themaat and hairstylist Alet Viljoen have come together to present their first exhibition of large-scale photography and installations at Robert Sherwood Design (one of House and Leisure’s favourite destinations in Cape Town). The result is an expectedly curious combo. The duo bring together hair, domestic scenes and fashion in a selection they have titled Huis + Hou + Ding, asking through their images: ‘What is beauty? What ties form to content and what changes when the content makes the object appear strange?’

In one image, shot in the same stark light as you would find in a Diane Arbus portrait, a nondescript armchair and footstool have been upholstered entirely in hair. Brushed with not a strand out of place, the form of the furniture pieces remains the same but the viewer may feel different about them. A dining scene of a meal that could only be described as ‘hair-bread’ inspires something like the feeling of discovering hair in your meal, while concurrently being a visually feast. 

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Huishouding, Anna Verloren van Themaat, Alet Viljoen

‘Alet and myself met on set five years ago, and have collaborated on many projects over the last couple of years. With Huis+Hou+Ding we wanted to explore the possibilities of using our combined skills to create a language of our own,’ Anna explains. 

‘Hair, as a medium, became this symbolic comment on the impossible standards that we are subjected to on a daily basis. Huishouding also directly translates to household. So in this case, Huis+Hou+Ding are all words that have their own meaning that touches on underlying themes within the exhibition. The overall theme speaks of domesticity from a female point of few.’

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Huishouding, Anna Verloren van Themaat, Alet Viljoen

But the hairy bits are just a small portion of the exciting work these two have dreamed up. To discover the rest of their work head to Robert Sherwood Design in Cape Town’s City Centre. You’ll be happy you did. 

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