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Beyond Strands – Victorian Hair Art Workshop

September 6 @ 10:00 am - 12:30 pm

Join artist Donna Lowson for an immersive journey into the world of Victorian hair art in this intimate artist talk and workshop.

Step back in time and explore the fascinating world of Victorian hair art in this unique workshop that combines history, creativity, and craft.

Join us for an immersive experience where we explore the artistry and significance of hair art during the 19th century, examining its role across different social classes.


In this workshop, participants will embark on a journey through the Victorian era, discovering the intertwining threads of industrialization, gender roles, and artistic expression. From the bustling textile mills where working-class women toiled to the quiet parlour where hair art flourished among the middle class, we’ll uncover the diverse stories of resilience, creativity, and identity hidden within the strands of history.


Guided by Artist Donna Lowosn, attendees will gain insights into the complex social dynamics that shaped the practice of hair art. We’ll explore how middle-class women found moments of solace and self-expression amidst the constraints of Victorian society, using hair art as a means of emotional expression and identity formation. Meanwhile, we’ll also consider the realities faced by working-class women, who, due to the demands of industrial labour, often lacked the luxury of time to engage in such leisurely pursuits.


Participants will have the opportunity to try their hand at creating their own hair Flowers and view a few original Victorian Pieces. Whether you’re intrigued by history, fascinated by craft, or simply curious about the past, this workshop offers a one-of-a-kind experience that promises to unravel the mysteries of Victorian culture and craftsmanship.


Join us for an unforgettable journey into the past, where art, history, and creativity intertwine to illuminate the hidden stories of women’s labour, resilience, and ingenuity. Don’t miss your chance to be a part of this unique exploration of Victorian culture and identity.


Note: All materials will be provided. No prior experience necessary. Come curious and leave inspired!

Artist bio:


Donna Lowson is a sculptor, installation artist, and workshop facilitator based in Sheffield. She will graduate this year with a BA in Fine Art from Sheffield Hallam University. Donna’s artistic practice delves into themes of identity, power dynamics, and socio-political commentary, influenced by her working-class background and a late dyslexia diagnosis, which heightened her criticality of the world around her and shaped her sense of self.

Drawing inspiration from her personal experiences and observations of societal inequities, Donna’s work navigates the complexities of identity and belonging in contemporary society. Her practice serves as a powerful reflection of our interconnected yet often fragmented world, challenging dominant narratives, disrupting power structures, and illuminating the voices and experiences of marginalised communities.

Central to Donna’s practice is the exploration of hair as a material and symbol of identity, memory, and resilience. By repurposing hair waste and incorporating it into her artworks, she confronts notions of beauty, labour, and value, inviting viewers to reconsider their perceptions of the material world and their place within it. Donna’s background as a former hairdresser and shoe designer adds depth to her artistic vision, infusing her work with a unique perspective and a deep understanding of materials.

Donna’s recent exhibitions include Ones to Watch 2024 at Sunny Bank Mills, the 802 Group Exhibition 2024 at Persistence Works Sheffield, and the Open Up Sheffield Exhibition 2024 at The Art House Sheffield. Her work invites viewers to engage in critical dialogue and reflection, striving to create spaces for connection, understanding, and solidarity in our disconnected world.

About the venue


Sunny Bank Mills is an inspirational cultural destination in the heart of the local community of Farsley, Leeds. Founded in 1829, these glorious Mills are being regenerated by the sixth generation of the family owners, creating a wonderful blend of work, leisure and culture.


Course terms and booking conditions


Workshop and course bookings can be cancelled and refunded up until 7 days before the scheduled start date. As materials and equipment are ordered in advance, we regret that refunds cannot be offered less than 7 days before the workshop date. Please note that Eventbrite’s booking fee is non-refundable.


If we need to cancel the course for any reason your ticket will be fully refunded.


September 6
10:00 am - 12:30 pm
Book Now


Sunny Bank Mills Gallery
83-85 Town Street
Farsley, LS28 5UJ United Kingdom