For three weeks this January, artist/hairdresser Daniel Kelly’s DKUK Salon will be popping up in the Merrion Centre in celebration of the end of the British Art Show. At DKUK Salon, the premise is simple, customers get their hair cut in front of art. The salon provides an exciting new platform for artists to exhibit and for audiences to engage with contemporary art in an accessible, welcoming space. DKUK combines the practical, commercial framework of a hairdressing business, with funding support from Arts Council England, and in doing so, creates a de-pressurised environment for artists away from the growing complexities of publicly funded art spaces. Daniel Kelly, the man behind it all, has exhibited widely, at the Saatchi gallery, Whitechapel gallery, Somerset House, and Outpost, Norwich, to name but a few.
On show in the salon whilst in Leeds, is the work of Alan Kane, an artist you might recognise from BAS8. His marble, tombstone furniture was very present throughout; it welcomed you on arrival, and confronted you again numerous times as you walked through the gallery.
For DKUK, Kane presents ‘Vanity Suite/Sorry’, a useable sculpture created in response to the hairdressing environment. Kane’s work subtly focuses on the long standing tradition of contemplating mortality in art, and his practice explores the differences between high art and everyday creativity, whilst questioning the hierarchies around certain forms of artistic production. He is interested in re-contextualising everyday objects, and uses things like crockery, joke shop products, and appliqued badges in his installations and photography. Kane believes that there is “no separation between people and art. It’s not somewhere else. But the art world proposes that it is.” His fascination with art’s relationship to everyday life, makes him the perfect artist to exhibit in the salon.
The project is brought to Leeds by Mexico as part of About Time, the satellite programme of contemporary art running from October 2015 – January 2016. Open: 9–23 January, Thurs–Sat, 12–6pm