For many men a good haircut from a top quality barber is akin to art. The Garage Barbershop exhibition takes this to an entirely new level.
When cherished trips to the barber with his youngest son became too expensive, Creative Producer Charles Lomu invested in a pair of clippers and set about teaching himself to become a serious barber through the ‘University’ of YouTube. With donated furniture, Charles began providing a ‘check up from the neck up’ for men from his Pacific Islander and church community. His humble garage set-up quickly became a destination for men who wanted more from their barbershop experience.
Since then Charles has built his modest garage into a place which is not simply about the haircuts but rather it has become a hub where men can congregate and converse without feeling judged or out of place. During the Garage Barbershop exhibition this hub is expanding and setting up shop in the Blacktown Arts Centre.
The Garage Barbershop exhibition presents a series of photographic portraits by international fashion photographer Harold David that depict modern masculinity; and candid video interviews with men from Western Sydney. These images are all snapshots of the encounters between Lomu, his five apprentices, dubbed the ‘Original Five’, and their clientele during a ten week mentorship program.
“Over ten weeks, we had the pleasure of witnessing five young men mature as they thrived on learning the art of barbering,” said Mr Lomu. “This project recognises that manhood is not determined by age, but by a mature way of life. Our communities, now and in the future, can only benefit from the development of young men today.”
As part of the exhibition Thursday’s have an appointment schedule whereby visitors can receive a cut, fade or shave by Charles Lomu and the ‘Original Five’.
Until Jun 3, Tue-Sat 10am-5pm. Blacktown Arts Centre, 78 Flushcombe Rd, Blacktown. FREE. Info: www.ice.org.au