Angela Hennessy


A Rising, 2021, by Angela Hennessy

A Rising, 2021. Synthetic Hair. Courtesy of the artist.

Audio description 

“Ultimately, what I am trying to do is to make myself recognizable to my ancestors—I’m trying to communicate with my dead people. Everything I make is in service of them.”—Angela Hennessy
Angela Hennessy’s wall-hanging is made from intricately hand-woven, crocheted, and braided synthetic hair. Her works call upon both African and European grief and mourning practices, as well as the significance of hair in racial identity and beauty politics.

About the Artist

Angela Hennessy is based in Oakland and is Associate Professor at California College of the Arts where she teaches courses on visual and cultural narratives of death and textile theory. Through writing, studio work, and performance, her practice questions assumptions about Death and the Dead themselves. 

Her work has been featured in Sculpture Magazine, The New Yorker, Nat Brut, Surface Design Journal, Textile: The Journal of Cloth and Culture, and recently in exhibitions at pt. 2 gallery, Museum of the African Diaspora, and Southern Exposure. She has upcoming exhibitions at SOMArts, San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles and the Oakland Museum of California. She is a 2019 San Francisco Artadia Award winner and recipient of the 2021 Joan Mitchell Fellowship.