Rocked legendarily by Ned Kelly and now resurrected by the fellows of the 21st century, the beard has been a symbol of masculinity and wisdom, making appearances throughout the history of literature and art. Staking a firm place in Melbourne’s hipster culture in recent years, it’s clear that the beard is back and here to stay.
Although one never needs an excuse to appreciate a little facial hair, this weekend Off the Kerb Gallery is supplying more than a few for our perusal. The opening of Men With Beards, which goes down this Friday, doesn’t only celebrate the Collingwood gallery’s sixth birthday, but marks a charity exhibition to raise funds for the city’s homeless. All proceeds from sold artwork will be donated to Melbourne Citymission’s Frontyard Youth Services, which supports those under 25 who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. As well as donating funds, there will also be collection bins throughout the gallery for donations of non-perishable food items and toiletries.
With 35 local artists contributing to the group show, the exhibition will feature 45 diverse pieces of art. Not restricted to any particular form or media, the pieces include everything from paintings, illustration, sculpture, collage, film and even a skateboard deck.
The vision behind Men With Beards has been embraced both with generosity and a multitude of interpretations. Whether you identify with the billowing beards of seafarers, Australia’s bushranger era or the modern, inner city beard-bearer, this exhibition fuses Melbourne’s bearded subculture with an incredible selection of art – all for a good cause.
Men With Beards launches this Friday Apri 5l at Off the Kerb in Collingwood from 6pm to 8pm, and will continue until April 19.