Exhibition Summary

Sumaya Ali is pleased to present her new body of work titled Your Hair is Good Hair.

The exhibition which comprises of portraiture style photographs, was conceived from the artist’s journey towards accepting and celebrating the natural curl pattern and texture of her hair, while also challenging the media’s projection of a singular hair aesthetic.

Behind the visuality of the images being presented, is a wealth of history that connects hair to race. From the Tignon Laws in Louisiana, USA in the 1700s, to apartheid South Africa’s ‘pencil-test’, discriminatory constructs around afro textured hair, have for centuries, created a ripple effect that still exists today.
Ali thus integrates each portrait with a personal narrative from her subjects, a gesture of agency in order to counter hair conformity and celebrate the beauty of diversity.

Sumaya Ali is a lawyer and photographer based in the Midlands, UK. Her practice is rooted in exploring social issues, using them as vehicles to incite positive change. Her first exhibition On Their Shoulders (2020) showcased successful individuals of colour in a range of careers and was exhibited at her alma mater, the University of Leicester, School of Law. Your Hair is Good Hair (2021) is her second exhibition.