What does hair loss really mean to people and how does it affect their sense of identity? On 21 June, alumnus Daniel Regan (Editorial Photography BA(Hons) 2006) will present a sensitive and powerful pop-up exhibition in conjunction with the Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS) about alopecia (hair loss). Daniel, who now works as a photographer and visual artist, explained what compelled him to work on this project.
“I started the alopecia project by accident when I met a friend of a friend who was affected by the condition. After hearing about her experience of dramatic hair loss and the lack of support provided in terms of psychological support and an explanation of what was happening to her, I felt the need to explore further.
“Over four years I worked with leading charity, Alopecia UK, to photograph a diverse range of people affected by the condition: men, women and children. Hearing their stories highlighted the dichotomy between our cultural belief that hair is a key part of our identity, versus the idea that hair loss is not something that should have a truly emotional impact on these individuals.
“The project is comprised of over 40 arresting black and white portraits powerfully portraying the effects of alopecia and the strength that each subject embraced in being photographed in such a vulnerable state. The work has been published in Alopecia Uncovered — with an art psychotherapist — investigating how the photographic portrait process led to increased self-esteem, the acceptance of fractured identities. The alopecia project has been cited as being instrumental in uniting people with alopecia and showcasing the shared experience of living with an often misunderstood condition.
“The event is a popup exhibition of the images from the project as well as a talk about the work. This includes a panel discussion chaired by Dr Bobby Farsides with Amy Richardson (one of the photographic subjects) and an NHS dermatologist talking about the science behind alopecia.”
Click here to book your tickets for Daniel’s exhibition – Alopecia Uncovered – at Brighton and Sussex Medical School on Tuesday, 21 June at 6pm.