16 - 10 - 2013

'S' for SALAKO

At SALAKO, we view hair as a material which has many amazing qualities. It can be manipulated into curls or straight lengths, cut into graphic shapes or defy gravity (with deft back-combing and the liberal use of styling products).

So, we loved this work we came across by Monique Goossens. She has created letters from strands of hair, working with the natural form of the hair itself. We would love to see a whole alphabet of them!

'H' for Hair

Goossens also produced this piece 'Hair Chair'

Now, that’s taking the idea of hair as material to a whole new level...

All images © Monique Goossens


01 - 10 - 2013

© Mira Schendel

‘Hanging by a thread’ connotes the fragility of a situation, the thread in question being something of the slightest mass, an almost imperceptible thing just managing to hold other things together. But herein lies the thread's strength.

It is well-known that a spider's thread is, proportionally, one of the strongest fibres known on earth. Yet we use the term to describe something weak and insubstantial - threadbare clothes, or comparisons with the fineness of a piece of thread.

© Chiharu Shiota

Threads are the ties that bind, the connectors that hold things together. This is expressed in the term 'thread', which relates to conversations held across the internet, where disparate peoples' thoughts are linked through time and space. This seemingly thin and fragile thing can spread rumours, form relationships, start a revolution.

©Lygia Pape

Mira Schendel, Luiga Pape and Chiharu Shiota: three artists who all use thread motifs in their work in similar ways, to create ethereal, almost imperceptible pieces that, through repetition and reproduction, create a presence. These immersive spaces are strange to behold -  tactile yet untouchable, slight yet substantial. A mass of threads can fill a room, the embodiment of the power of collectivity. 

©Lygia Pape

You can experience Mira Schendel's work at Tate Modern

Chiharu Shiota's work at Towner, Eastbourne

and Lygia Pape's work can be seen at



06 - 9 - 2013

© Irving Penn

The simple things in life is an oft-repeated line but one that we keep coming back to. As we pause for breath after the summer with its travel, adventure and good times we wanted to take a moment to focus on the simple, before we rush headlong into autumn, Christmas and another year.

Simplicity can be interpreted in many ways but in essence tends to be defined by the use of few elements (as expressed in another old adage, less is more). For example, the ingredients of a good loaf can be as little as flour and water and a dress can be formed of one seam with holes for arms.

Take a moment to enjoy the stillness ...

Barn, Sussex

Helmut Lang campaign, 1997 featuring Kirsten Owen

Moroccan dwelling

Arvo Part, composer of the New Simplicity movement

Bernard Leach mead jug (Tate)

In The Moment

21 - 8 - 2013

In The Moment, 2013 © Jimo Salako

Jimo has a long-standing interest in and knowledge of photography. From his own experience as a portrait and documentary photographer, working for Nova and commissions from Richard Buckley at Vogue Hommes, to his founding of the art-photography journal, NextLevel in the early 2000s, publishing work by Jeff Wall, Richard Avedon, David Bailey, Rineke Djstrika, Zhang Huan and Joel Sternfeld.

Norbert Schoerner © Jimo Salako


Next Level cover featuring Jeff Wall image

Mclean, Virginia: December 1978 © Joel Sternfeld

The Accident, 2003 © Jimo Salako

He has continued his own practice throughout this time, initially turning his camera on close friends and family and then developing a series of documentary projects, such as a survey of Berthold Lubetkin's Spa Green Estate, in conjunction with his film-making.

Mell in Mirror, 1997 © Jimo Salako

Staring at Strangers (2001) Film © Jimo Salako

Peter, 1999 - from Spa Green project © Jimo Salako

Lorna, 1999 - from Spa Green project © Jimo Salako

 In a continuation of this development, this recent collaboration with his long-term partner, Mellany, is the first body of work to be made public in over five years.

Pull, 2013 
© Jimo Salako

The series is an intimate view of a relationship. Most of the images are taken from behind the sitter, so present a partial view of the subject. This approach questions the form of portraiture itself - how deeply can we really know someone from their photograph?

To download an ebook of the images, please go


08 - 8 - 2013

In an increasingly virtual world, a renewed interest in workmanship and the hand-crafted is taking place.

Craft represents application. It is not possible to construct a made-to-measure suit in the kind of timeframe we are used to. Zapping the remote control, or swiping a computer is now second nature and our attention span and some say, our wider brain patterns, are adapting accordingly. Creating a piece made from meticulously sourced materials with the involvement of many different hands is a process that requires skill, patience and dedication.

Craft indulges in the luxury of time and the finished product is all the better for it. From an artisan ice-cream to a turned wooden bowl, the aesthetic of the handmade is more than surface deep.

Charlotte Borley, SALAKO's hair enhancement specialist, approaches the making of hair as a skilled craftsperson, working closely with one of the oldest hair supply companies in the UK.

Charlotte matches hair samples taken from the client and forms a colour ring to ensure the hair selected is the perfect compliment to the client's own. Then, using three different methods of extensions, she ensures that the finished look has the desired movement requested during the initial consultation.

The hair is attached to the client's head, using bonds that are not much bigger than a grain of rice. This method differs from many hair extension processes, as it allows for the use of many different strands of hair to create a perfect match of colour and texture.

With this attention to detail, Charlotte achieves the most natural results. This is truly hand-crafted hair.

For more information about this bespoke service, please contact SALAKO: 020 7402 3464

The Haircut

25 - 7 - 2013


To celebrate the recent BFI release of the short film 'The Haircut' starring John Cassevetes, we thought we would take a little look at his oeuvre.

Cassevetes was a huge influence on the award-winning short films that Jimo Salako produced and directed: 'Lateef the Mechanic' and 'The Conversation' back in the early 2000s. Inspired by Cassevetes' improvised approach to filmmaking and his graphic framing and editing, Jimo gathered together a collection of actors and non-actors to create powerful vignettes of human relationships.

Cassevetes style of filmmaking was borne of necessity, as his budgets were limited and shoot times tight. Luckily, he had the support of actors such as Ben Gazzara, Peter Faulk and of course, the stunning Gena Rowlands (Cassevetes' wife). He is widely regarded as one of the most influential American directors, if not so widely known as some of his contemporaries.

The Haircut was shot in 1982 and features Cassevetes as a stressed out music executive visiting a barber shop with many added extras, including a tap dancer and band performance!

We can't always promise that at SALAKO but we can offer our clients a relaxing and unforgettable experience.

To book an appointment go to: 

And for more information on The Haircut go to:


19 - 7 - 2013
Inspired by the glowing orange orb seen in the sky recently, this week's blog post is the first in an occasional series looking at the colour wheel.

Orange. Not just a colour but a fruit. Although, of course as Jeanette Winterson pointed out, Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit. It has inspired multinational companies, groundbreaking music stars and writers and artists.

The classic holiday drink has to be either a can of Fanta or a dinky bottle of Orangina, full of the promise of taking the pain away from sunburnt shoulders. Something about the sensation of fizz and the citrus zing of orange just works - be it a Buck's Fizz or a tin of Tango. And we all adore Kia-Ora.

The history of orange is not just about sweet memories though - Agent Orange was the code name for US chemical weapons used in Vietnam and given its name through the orange-striped barrels it was shipped in.The uniforms of Guantanamo bring new associations to this traditionally jaunty colour.

On a lighter note,  orange is seen as the colour of power, healing and creativity and Buddhist monks wear orange coloured robes as a symbol of their faith. Orange was also one of the early colours formulated by Crayola in 1903.

In music, Frank Ocean's album was named Channel Orange after the neurological phenomenon grapheme-colour synesthesia: apparently, he saw the colour orange when he first fell in love. You can listen to his fruity music here. And The Fall composed the score for Michael Clark's seminal ballet, 'I Am Curious Orange' [ I am Kurios Oranj], itself inspired by the work of Vilgot Sjoman, whom we will return to in a later post.

Oh, and the colour orange is also said to increase appetite, hence its use in fast food restaurants. Feeling hungry yet?

The Afro Comb: a history

10 - 7 - 2013

An exhibition we hope to visit this summer. It also gives us an excuse to post an image of the incredible Angela Davis (above) and Marsha Hunt (below).

The Fitzwilliam Museum  and the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology in Cambridge are hosting a joint exhibition 'The Origins of the Afro Comb', which looks at the history of the afro comb – all 6,000 years of it.

From ancient Egypt to the Black Power movement of the 1960s, the role of the afro comb in culture is explored. The combs can denote status and affiliation: their handles are often carved with symbolic motifs to signify tribe or religion (or politics).

The exhibition looks at how the comb travelled from Africa to the rest of the world over the course of centuries and artist Michael McMillan’s site-specific work considers the social role of the home, barber and hair salon in contemporary life.

For further information go to:

Everything looks better in black & white

03 - 7 - 2013

Here at SALAKO, we have been posting black and white images on Facebook and the Journal for some time and it seems that this is part of a wider trend.

Killian Fox recently wrote about new films, such as Much Ado About Nothing, A Field in England (pictured above), Nebraska and Frances Ha and describes how they were originally shot in colour and converted post-production. The visual results seem worth the extra effort, with press shots looking exquisitely photographic.

In an age of digital, high-definition images a return to black and white can be read in different ways: nostalgia, classicism and of course, the fact that everything (and everyone) looks better in black and white.

One thing that you can be sure of is that monochrome will always make an appearance at SALAKO, so watch this space. 
For now, a selection of images from black and white films -  from the 1970s to the present day.

Much Ado About Nothing 

Much Ado About Nothing 

Good Night and Good Luck


22 - 6 - 2013

It is officially midsummer, although you might not believe it.

The weather has been particularly unseasonable these past few weeks but as the great nature writer Richard Mabey suggests, we need to start loving the rain. Apparently, as an island in the Arctic storm belt, it's the least to expect.

We have selected some images which make the most of what Nature has to throw at us. Hopefully, they will help you see wet weather in a different light and learn to enjoy those raindrops trickling down your neck.