Works of art hung in place of mirrors at unique beauty salon exhibit

American artist Christian Noelle Charles will launch the show at Edinburgh Printmakers on Friday.

Edinburgh art exhibition mimics day at the salon with artwork hung in place of mirrors Neil Hanna

A new art exhibition that has been made to look like a beauty salon where viewers are invited to look at works while sitting on salon chairs is set to open in Edinburgh.

American artist Christian Noelle Charles will launch the show on Friday at Edinburgh Printmakers.

What A Feeling Act 1 will run until September 17.

Artworks will be hung in place of salon mirrors, and a radio will play excerpts of conversations with the artist.

Ms Charles said she wanted to create a place of “relaxation and security” and a “new way of seeing”.

She said: “I grew up going to beauty salons. I have always got my hair done since I was a kid. And I wanted to create a place of relaxation, security, that sense of getting ready is like the whole social aspect of it.

“Creating these types of sets and installations change the perception of how people should look at art and also just feel relaxed in the space instead of analysing it too much.”

Ms Charles composed a series of screenprints that explore and convey the gestures of being judged, analysed, and satisfied within a format of salon.

Some examples of these gestures are hand crossing, lowering the glasses and tapping of the fingers.

Ms Charles added: “As a black American, I was raised through the sense of gathering where barber shops and beauty salons were a centre of community and neighbourhood.

“I feel like it is a good hybrid place to meet different cultures. In terms of black community in the African diaspora, salons were places of gathering that would do beauty or nails and was essential in terms of understanding one another, making sure that we look our best and what our culture represents from that.

“Also, the idea of the beauty salon was a younger and modern take on that sense of the salon when it comes to showcasing paintings or prints in a specific way. It’s a pun on ‘The Salon’ within a beauty salon.

“Since the work that I’ve been doing has been focused on getting ready and beauty and the essence of black women and how hard they work.”

Ms Charles currently lives in Glasgow after studying for a masters degree at Glasgow School of Art.

She is originally from Syracuse in New York.

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