Commission #1: Richard Houguez & Rachael Young

For the first Intersections commission, artists and hairdressers Richard Houguez and Rachael Young have been researching independent hairdressers in Radford and Lenton – finding out about the way these spaces function and exploring the qualities of relationships between hairdressers and their clients. They have been visiting salons in the area, and are working closely with six hairdressers to develop a series of objects and performances – revealing some of the subtle and powerful roles these individuals play in their communities.

Rachael and Richard have taken an informal approach to researching places of hairdressing – responding to the specifics of each salon. Starting with the experience of entering and being greeted, they developed their understanding of the spaces by building personal relationships with the respective hairdressers through services, treatments and conversation. The second part of the commission will work with aspects of haptic intimacy and storytelling experienced in these salons, with the aims of building relationships through mutual interests and listening for difference.

In December, there was a public Hair Consultation – a day of performances and one-to-one discussions at Primary. Over the day studio artists, local hairdressers, special guests and public were invited to share stories and questions, and draw out a collective map of hair, its private symbols and wider social contexts. Richard’s blog about the event is now online, and you can see documentation and videos from the day here.

To bring the commission to a close in January, there will be a walk leaving from Primary to the surrounding salons that have been central to the research, responding to some of the ideas that come out of the consultation and that have been developed through the project. This will be an opportunity to see work generated through the project – such as bespoke hairdressing bibs, performances made for individual salons and a zine created in collaboration with photographer Ben Harriott. For more details of this event see Hair Happenings.

Rachael and Richard would also like to be in touch with mobile hairdressers operating in the area. Please contact the artists if you have any information, or if you’d like to share anything else: moc.l1594086097iamg@1594086097zeugu1594086097oh.dr1594086097ahcir1594086097

With thanks to: Bosphorus Hair Salon, Salon U Damiana, Shayaa, Platinum Cuts, Mario’s Barbershop.

Intersections is an ongoing strand of commissions that expands our activity beyond the boundaries of the building, engaging with people and places in the local area. Each project extends an invitation to individuals and communities to share and explore specific sets of knowledge, in connection to artists’ research and production processes.

The Intersections programme is kindly supported by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.

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