The Art of Barbering
24th February – 5th March 2017
A groundbreaking multidisciplinary art festival across East London barbershops, Toynbee Studios, Archive Gallery and online broadcasts.
Barbering is a centuries old practice that has united communities, healed ill bodies and helped us to find a way to illustrate our own identities. From the black barbershops of nineteenth century North America, to the physicality of Turkish barbers, the healing rituals in India and the rise of the ‘metrosexual’; for centuries the barbershop has been a stronghold of various communities across the world.
Through newly commissioned work and a curated programme, the festival will bring together established and emerging artists, barbers and activists who creatively and critically use the history, politics and craft of barbering to explore themes of race, gender, ritual, community and social healing in their respective practices.
Historically a place exclusively for men, the barbershop has developed in recent years into a more inclusive space. Shops like Open Barber and Barberette in London and Shambarber in Bristol now actively promote their shops as safe and open spaces that welcome those who identify as queer, trans or female and the festival seeks to address key issues surrounding gender and image construction within the field of barbering in the twenty-first century.
Directed and curated by live artist jamie lewis hadley and produced by Xavier de Sousa for Blank Billboard CIC. Developed in partnership with Artsadmin, Live Art Development Agency, Ravensbourne and Tower Hamlets Council, and funded by Arts Council England, Wellcome Trust, Jerwood Charitable Foundation and Heritage Lottery Fund.
Director/Curator: jamie lewis hadley
Associate Producer: Philippa Neels
PR: Anna Goodman for Abstrakt Publicity