The Seal

Artist Statement:

This is a digital drawing I created using the Procreate app. Inspiration comes from my personal experience. It depicts a Black girl getting her freshly made braids sealed with a hot water bath by grabbing the braids and placing them in the bowl. Her face is in a grimace from the rough handling.

Getting my hair done has never been a particularly pleasant experience for me, but it is a core part of my childhood. Hair has always been a big part of my life and is an important topic in the Black community. Growing up in a predominantly white city, my hair was one of the biggest things that set me apart. I used to not like how different my hair was from my classmates’. I’d get asked questions about it, people would touch my hair, and I was generally uncomfortable with the constant attention it brought me. On top of all of this, getting my hair done was a painful experience. I hated the sectioning, the brushing, and all the time it took to do it. Even with all the perceived negative consequences, I felt my hair “brought” me, I always loved how it looked at the end. My hair was something that I love. A lot of Black people, especially young girls, grow up believing that their hair isn’t “good”. In my art, I’d like to portray the not-so-positive way I felt about my hair, but I also wanted to show the inherent beauty that it has as well.

About the Artist:

Feyi Obiri is in her second year of medical science at Western University and grew up in Sarnia, Ontario. She began her art journey in second grade and their love of drawing has only grown since.