- « Our beauty ideals become public artworks! »Brenda Brehler, teacher of beauty care, ROC college, Amsterdam
Beauty adventure gallery
Beauty Adventure Gallery is a pop-up outdoor beauty salon on a playground by Aldo van Eyck in the Stadstimmertuin, a protected square in the historic centre of Amsterdam.
The monumental playground however, had – through years of neglect – become a place where people smoke, eat fast food and inject drugs. The city’s methadone substitution programme is run from a nearby venue. Overlooking the square are a number of residential buildings and three beauty institutes: a third-level college for beauty care, a health club for women and a renowned beauty institute.
With the Beauty Adventure Gallery project, Henriette Waal fused these two worlds of ‘beauty’ and ‘ugliness’ in a pop-up salon that targeted surrounding residents and passers-by. Make-up mirrors were attached to the facades and treatment chairs were given a weather-resistant coating and mounted onto the playground blocks by Aldo van Eyck.
Students from the beauty college, who normally practice on mannequins, treated the locals. A woman who sells the homeless newspaper and has been living on the streets for 20 years got a facial treatment for the first time in her life. The love, attention and care that the Beauty Adventure Gallery gave to target groups who rarely if ever frequent beauty salons also reflected positively on the square itself.
Beauty Adventure Gallery was one of the locations of Sunday Adventure Club, an exhibition within the framework of ExperimentaDesign and a homage to urban pioneers, people who organize activities in the public domain through personal involvement.