I’m known as many things, and one of them is ‘The one with the colourful hair.” That hair has been created by Gale Walker, at Just Teasing, for the last 15 years. We met when I arrived at the gallery to be told that 5 of my artworks had been bought by the same person. I had to meet her! They were assemblage works, kind of votive pieces, built around images of Friday Kahlo. I was discovering how to use assemblage, layering, a thousand pieces to build up a whole that was intricate and colourful.
I found Gale in her salon, had a hair cut, and we’ve been friends ever since. She’s a wonderful Wellington character, moving here at a time when she says ‘Everything felt possible.’ She has certainly made things feel more possible for me, especially through her dedication to beauty as a life enriching element. Artists don’t always have money, but my one non-negotiable all these years, has been my hair. I go into her salon, all minty green, soft pinks, and welcome. And have an experience of beauty and treats. I always come out energised, and feeling more hopeful.
Gale commissioned a large window piece from me when she moved to her new salon on Willis St six years ago. It’s still there, made from lace, glitter, pieces of fabric, beads and pattern.
This year, it is 25 years since Gale opened the salon, and she celebrated with a wonderful party, a slide show of Cuba St and all the great haircuts, and 8 new commissioned pieces, crowning the mirrors. For me, it was a reaching back into a previous art making style, while bringing all the learning I’ve done in between. These pieces are always based on a wallpaper, which then becomes the framework for embellishment and, of course, beauty.
It’s been such a pleasure making these pieces. I particularly love commissions when they are made for a specific space – listening to the dreams and needs of the client, and figuring out how to create for that particular place. These are being well loved so far, and if you’re inspired to bring beauty to your place, get in touch! Always interested to talk and share ideas…