In the studio with Alice Anderson
Flame-haired, French-born artist Alice Anderson makes sculptures, films and installations that relate to her own body, based on fictionalised memories of troubled childhood family relationships. Her exhibition 'Alice Anderson's Time Reversal', at Riflemaker Gallery from Mar 1-Apr 24 2010, includes two installations made with hundreds of metres of red doll's hair (the colour of the artist's own) and a new film 'The Night I Became a Doll' - a psychological narrative which explores notions of time and reality. Her studio is in Battersea.
Are there specific fairytale references in your use of hair, as in Rupunzel?
'There are, but only in the role of the witch, who has imprisoned Rapunzel in the tower and climbs up her long hair to feed her. Her hair functions like an umbilical cord, with the witch in this dual role as both jailer and mother figure. I'm not interested in the fairytale need for a charming prince to come to her rescue.'
Red hair is very striking. How do you feel about being ginger?
'I didn't really like it as a child but I feel fine about it now. It's interesting though how people either love it or hate it and that it has such powerful associations, such as being a witch or a prostitute.'
What about the spookily realistic doll of you, made by Madame Tussauds…
'She appears in the film and there will be a silicon mask of the doll's face, which is of course also my face, at Riflemaker. If I wear it you can see that it's the same face underneath. It suggests that there are layers of personalities, just as the film itself suggests layers of possible meanings.'