“Extensions” deconstructs femininity, focusing on female hair and how it’s integral to sexual empowerment, perceived notions of beauty, sexual identity and its curious position as an object of repression in religion.

STEPHANIE ELAINE BLACK (UAE/UK) makes socially engaged and political live art. She often uses her own body as a means of engaging more generally with the political and social context of the female body. She explores female struggles with free will in relation to her own autobiography and encourages audiences to ‘actively’ read and explore her work.

Black uses a range of mediums and styles such as: fine art, sound, installation and live performance. Her work is often durational, one-to-one and choreographic. Repetition and ritual are also used to open a dialogue with the audience. Her work often physically exhausts, challenges and tests her body, while drawing on cross-cultural influences including – religious, ritualistic and spiritual motifs. Black’s work is visually engaging and immersive, playing with poetic though often grotesque, subversive imagery. A common strand in Black’s work looks at her identity and perspective as a white, Western female raised in the Middle East.

Black is a graduate of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and recipient of the Athena Award from The National Review of Live Art. She has previously collaborated with artist and curator Rajni Shah and was recently mentored by New York/Scottish based artist Diane Torr.

photos by Greta Anele Labanauskaite