Paloma Proudfoot: Buns without a face

3 December 2020 - 6 February 2021 The Box

Pippy Houldsworth Gallery is delighted to present British artist Paloma Proudfoot in the gallery’s microproject space, The Box. Buns without a face, running from 3 December to 6 February, is the artist’s first presentation at the gallery.


Buns without a face presents a humorous, perplexing form – a sculptural bust with its head and shoulders covered in long hair. The work draws on a quote from Sophie Collins’ Small White Monkeys: ‘I am angry because I have been ashamed for that which I ought not to have been made to feel ashamed, and, as I now know, anger is a battery’. Exploring the complexities of shame, Proudfoot obscures the face completely, expressing a wish to hide from the judgement of others and oneself. This instinct, rooted in part by self-preservation, points to the contradictory nature of this emotion. Though shielding herself, the figure projects confidence, holding her head upright on her broad shoulders, her neat buns shining. By shaping a hairstyle typically worn by women, Proudfoot examines how the experience of shame may be gendered, particularly in relation to personal appearance and constructions of femininity.


Proudfoot’s practice encompasses sculpture, textile, performance and installation, often combining techniques across each discipline. Bringing together a wide range of references – from personal experience to literature and historical apparel – her work articulates indeterminate feelings, often drawing on a female perspective.