Laetitia Ky’s Metamorphosis Hair Sculpture Series: A Celebration of Nature and Black Beauty

Laetitia Ky is a feminist artist from Ivory Coast who creates sculptures from her hair. Her sculptures are moments, scenes, statements, emotions, rendered in black afro textured hair. She links hair extensions directly to her own natural fro and then, using a mirror, proceeds to mould both into shapes. If what she wants to build is particularly complicated, she uses wires and glue.

Her latest series, Metamorphosis, features her hair transformed into plants and animals, such as a cactus, a butterfly, a snake, a bird and a flower. The series is inspired by her love for nature and her desire to raise awareness about environmental issues. She says: “I wanted to show how we are connected to nature, how we are part of it, and how we need to protect it. I also wanted to celebrate the beauty and diversity of nature, and how it can inspire us to create art.”

Ky’s hair sculptures are not only artistic expressions, but also political statements. She has used her platform on social media to tackle topics such as abortion, sexism, racism, bullying and body positivity. She says: “I want to use my art to empower women, especially black women, and to challenge the stereotypes and prejudices that we face. I want to show that our hair is beautiful, that our skin is beautiful, that our culture is beautiful.”

Ky’s work has been featured in international magazines and exhibitions, such as the 2022 Venice Biennale. She has also launched her own fashion brand, Kystroy, which aims to be inclusive and diverse². She hopes to inspire other young artists to follow their dreams and express themselves through their art. She says: “I want to show that anything is possible with creativity and passion. I want to show that art can change the world.”

The Metamorphosis Series

Drawing inspiration from the castle’s rich history and its ties to Ovid’s Metamorphoses, the castle’s second name, “The Castle of Metamorphosis,” ignited a brilliant concept within the artist’s mind.

For each carefully selected location in the village, @laetitiaky metamorphosed into a different creature, seamlessly blending with her surroundings. In the village garden, she became a majestic tree, rooted in the earth’s embrace. Inside the village lavatory, water guided her transformation into a graceful aquatic creature, the elusive octopus.

As she ventured into the castle, the artist embodied the awe-inspiring power of a dragon, captivating the viewer with her fiery presence. In the depths of a dark cave, she transformed into a luminous source of light, illuminating the shadows that enveloped her. Finally, perched on the edge of the void, @laetitiaky emerged as a magnificent butterfly, a symbol of freedom and transformation.

Each image is a testament to the artist’s profound connection with Rocca Sinibalda, its history, and its natural wonders. Join us in appreciating the breathtaking artistry of @laetitiaky as she undergoes her own metamorphosis, inviting us to reflect on the transformative power within us all.

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