Free Flow ‘Fro – Natural Hair Project Mini Exhibit
A series of portraits that celebrate Natural Hair in all its nuance and variety, firstly through capturing a diverse British community of contemporary Black and Mixed Race actors, in the photos you see above. And then expanding to include people from all professions and walks of life in the UK.
45 sitters, mainly – though not exclusively – actors, of all ages, came to be photographed for the first shoot day in late July 2019, where I collaborated with another Make Space resident, the amazing Afro-textured hair stylist Cher Savery, and Diana Hudson, a vastly experienced MUA who’s worked on Mary J. Blige’s tours and with none less than Oprah.
Each sitter kindly gave their time to shoot, and I will be showing each person’s portrait as part of the work-in-progress, mini exhibit.
Why this topic?
My eyes were opened to this issue by a number of actor clients in 2018 and the project has developed over the last 12 months. You can read about it here.
With Natural Hair Discrimination laws changing in California, writers like Afua Hirsch & Nadia Latif eloquently picking apart the way the entertainment industry has failed to understand and showcase darker skin tones and afro-textured hair and recent efforts like Project Embrace poster campaigns in this country working to “Break boundaries and change perceptions one curl at a time…” there seems to be a growing cultural impetus to celebrate, normalise, and create positive representations around afro hair.
As a photographer working in a visual, easily-made available, and very digestible medium, I wondered if I could try to make a small contribution to this change through the power of positive representation.
Photos have such power to bypass the thinking brain – I wanted to create impactful photos to shine some added light on these important topics.
When and Where?
At my studio, as part of Make Space Open Studios 2019.
Opening Night: Thursday 3rd 6-9.30pm
Open Studio: Saturday 5th and Sunday October 6th 12-5.30pm
Makespace Studios, Newnham Terrace, SE1 7DR (30 secs from Lambeth North and 10 mins walk fro Waterloo)
Make Space Open Studios 2019
It’s also our annual Open Studios, when many of the artists throw open their doors to share the work and working processes, so lot’s to enjoy and explore.
“Nestled in the heart of Waterloo there is a bustling community of artists from all around the world. Day in, day out, they are creating unique and original art, to the steady sound of the trains in the background. Once a year, this hard working group of creative souls invites its neighbours, friends and curious strangers to come and see where the magic happens.
The launch evening will take place on Thursday 3rd October from 6-9:30pm with live music, complementary drinks and all the artists on hand to share their passionate and unique worlds with you.
This will be followed by a whole weekend of art displays, live music, art classes and tutorials, as well as the opportunity to buy unique and affordable artworks directly from the artists with 0% commission!”