Amazing World of Beards - Nick Morley

In his first solo show in the UK Nick Morley provides an insight into the obscure and obsessive world of competitive beard-growing. Timed to coincide with the World Beard and Moustache Championships in Brighton on Sat 1 September 2007, the artist has been making portraits of these hirsute competitors from around the globe since the last championships two years ago in Berlin.

Alongside the portraits Morley will be inviting the public to cut out and construct their own beards from a screen-printed poster. Giving the viewer a chance to get involved in making art in a gallery space helps to break down some of the barriers that curators and gallerists create. Morley believes that by being involved in the art, people allow themselves more time to consider the ideas being explored. In past exhibitions members of the public have been invited to print and colour their own woodblock sumo wrestler and to decorate cakes bearing a screen-printed image of the Queen.

Nick Morley’s work deals with ideas of the self, with particular emphasis on issues of masculinity. Subjects in his prints include wrestlers, hunters and the Queen’s guards. Morley uses humour to draw the viewer in before asking serious questions about our own preconceptions, prejudices and assumptions about others. A hand-printed beard activity book will accompany the exhibition.

 Amazing World of Beards - Nick Morley