I run a gallery in the northern suburbs of Melbourne. It’s a not for profit space run by artists who get to showcase some of their own work or the work of people they admire. Lately however, I’ve been branching out into new direction. For example, we recently had an exhibition of photographs displaying innovations in makeup and beauty therapy. It was a little bit different to have something like this in a gallery but I thought, what the hey.
The girl who gave me the idea for the show was completing a diploma of beauty therapy near Melbourne and when she told me about all of the creations they produce I was fascinated. Aside from stuff you’d expect from a beauty salon like massages and facials, they also learn about specialist makeup services, and the students can get really creative. They’re not just performing beauty therapy in many cases, they’re actually producing art. So while she and her friends were doing makeup in the classroom and also getting some hands on experience outside of class at events they have volunteered for, there was a photographer to capture their work. We displayed these photos at the gallery as part of the exhibition, along with an installation of artists tools (some of them look quite wacky!). It was all very well received.
While I never thought I’d go back to school in Melbourne, makeup artist courses are starting to really appeal to me. I never realised how much kinship this profession has with the visual art field. Makeup artists employ a lot of the same principles such as colour, form, balance and contrast. And many of them have strong ties with the performing arts which are just a hair’s breadth away from what I do. From now on, I’ll definitely be making more friends and connections in the makeup instrustry.