HASHING: It’s hard to believe that more than 70 years after the last of the country’s famous balga tafas were removed from the shops, a stunning and timeless image has been recreated.HASHING is an exhibition on the history of the city’s hairdressers, which will be on display from 10 July until 1 November.
The exhibition, called ‘Hairdresser of the Week’ and curated by photographer John Lewis, explores the lives and work of the women who had a hand in making the city so beautiful.
The show includes a selection of stunning images from the period, which are now housed at the Balga Street Museum in the city centre.
The first time I saw this picture, I knew I was going to be in love with it John Lewis’ article John Lewis says the photograph captures the ‘smooth, natural, feminine’ look of the time, which he describes as ‘fruity, modern and glamorous’.
The tafetas, which were first made popular by a young American girl in the 1930s, are now very much a part of the culture.
But their influence goes far beyond the women themselves.
“Hairdressing in Balga, especially in the early to mid-20th century, was an integral part of our society and part of how we thought about beauty,” Lewis explains.
They were a way of dressing up, and there were all sorts of different types of people doing it.
The show’s curator, Kate Brown, says it’s important to show how this style evolved.
“It’s a really interesting time in the history and culture of Balga and the men who were involved with the creation of the dress,” she says.
One of the main themes of the exhibition is that these women were not only making their own tafes, but also experimenting with other styles and colours.
John Lewis says he was inspired to create the series because he’s passionate about history and it is important to look at the past as well as the present.
“We’re really trying to understand the relationships between people, the history, the people in the streets, the art and so on,” he explains.
“In this series, we’re really looking at that history and why people did what they did, how it affected society and the relationships.”
Lewis says his hope is that the series will inspire people to be more engaged with history.
“I hope it will inspire them to think more about the connections between different people and different times in history, and look more deeply into the world around us,” he says.
“And I hope it encourages people to think about the history as a way to see the world differently and hopefully, in the future, be a better person.”
The exhibition is open from 10.00am until 3.00pm, and will be open to the public from 10 June.
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