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Indera Harrison-Nedd: Exhibiting everyday objects to challenge preconceptions

Girl wearing a piece of fake hair
Girl wearing a piece of fake hair

BA (Hons) Fine Art: Photography, Camberwell College of Arts, UAL
Written by
Grizelda Kitching
Published date
05 November 2019

Camberwell BA Fine Art Photography student Indera Harrison-Nedd is interested in the things we might not notice. Through her photographs, video work, books and installations she aims to re-imagine and transform objects that we have become accustomed to or have discarded, changing and challenging perceptions and encouraging the viewer to look a little closer.

A discarded mattress stands on a wall on the street

One such project is her second year work documenting discarded mattresses in London. Exploring the connotations behind the subject - that a mattress used to belong to someone, be slept on by them, be an essential, personal part of someone’s life, yet one that is instantly replaceable.

Indera recorded dumped mattresses that she came across using her iPhone and explains that using her mobile phone in this way allows for an instant engagement with the subject, for her to “simply capture a moment”.

The Mattress project culminated in an installation were the images captured were collected in a book, displayed alongside an actual ‘found’ mattress provided by Southwark Council. The installation was exhibited as part of a UAL student-led external group show, Tongue, which took place at The Flying Dutchman in November 2018. A multidisciplinary exhibition focussed on current socio-political issues, Tongue collective states its ethos is to be “playful, expressive, and stand for something we are passionate about, whether that be social or global issues surrounding our generation, or just to really explore the boundaries of our specialisms, with experimental approaches.”

profile of a female with an artificial hair piece she is holding up with both hands as a beard
Indera Harrison-nedd, Bearded Girl 2c, courtesy of indera Harrison-nedd
BA (Hons) Fine Art: Photography, Camberwell College of Arts, UAL

As well as taking part in these student-led shows, Indera also exhibited her work alongside other second year Painting, Drawing, Sculpture and Photography students in early 2019 in the Fine Art programme show MERGE at CGP Gallery in Southwark Park. All Fine Art students take part in this show as part of their course, and this iteration marked the 5th year that the college has partnered with CGP Gallery to host the exhibition.

Indera used this opportunity to make and display work which explores her current focus: human hair. Indera’s fascination with human hair developed in childhood as her dad is a hairdresser. In her artwork, she approaches hair as an object from the starting point that hair is “very familiar, everyone has it - then it is forgetten and lost down the plughole - the normal perception of discarded human hair is that it is unpleasant.”

As well as using it to create still and moving imagery, she has begun experimenting with upcycling hair and using it as a tool or a prop. She has explored this by using hair to create stencils for screenprinting, changing the hair’s status from being abandoned and unwanted to giving it a use and a purpose.

For the MERGE exhibition, Indera created a “hair Installation” which consisted of a hair salon set-up, a looped video piece and themed imagery challenging the viewer’s perception of hair. The aim of the work was to begin to re-examine hair, remodifying it and exploring its different connotations socially and through a fashion gaze.

Gallery Installation of a hair dressers set up
Indera Harrison-nedd, Hair Installation by Indera Harrison-Nedd, Merge Exhibition 2019 at CGP Gallery - Credit: Bernd Behr
BA (Hons) Fine Art: Photography, Camberwell College of Arts, UAL

Exhibiting her work in ways that engage the viewer with her material subjects, Indera hopes that her audiences will admire the aesthetic value of found objects in ways they might never have previously considered.

CGP Gallery, Merge Exhibition 2019