Brixton Underground’s new mural is an ode to barbershop and black women’s culture

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Brixton Underground’s new mural is an ode to barbershop and black women’s culture
Joy Labinjo’s extra 5 minutes is an ode to the importance of the hairdressing salon. Commissioned by Art on the Underground. Courtesy of the artist and Tiwani Contemporary. Photo: Moulin Angus.

The next time you enter or exit Brixton Tube Station, stop to look over the entrance, where a large-scale mural – themed on the area’s black barbershops – has appeared.

Joy Labinjo’s ‘5 more minutes’ takes place in a hair salon on a busy Saturday morning, with women of different generations gathered under hooded hairdryers, chatting and watching TV, while the children play on the floor. . The setting is not one particular salon, but a composite of the various salons Labinjo has visited over the years – as well as others she has drawn from historical sources.

the fresco that shines from the entrance to the station at night
Labinjo often travels to Brixton for the authentic hairdressing experience. Commissioned by Art on the Underground. Courtesy of the artist and Tiwani Contemporary. Photo: Moulin Angus.

Hair salons, the artist explains, are at the heart of Brixton’s Afro-Caribbean community and a vital community institution that has so far resisted various waves of gentrification. The work also illustrates what is a quintessential British female experience.

Labinjo, who has often traveled to Brixton especially for its salons, says of the neighborhood: “As soon as you exit the station, you know you’ve arrived: the smell of incense; public entertainers; street storytellers; fashionable people. there is arrogance, charisma and thought all around. It is irresistible.

“I wanted to do work that reflected not only my own lived experiences, but also other black women in London and the UK.”

the fresco in an empty station
You can go and see this work for the next 12 months. Brixton underground station. Commissioned by Art on the Underground. Courtesy of the artist and Tiwani Contemporary. Photo: Moulin Angus, 2021

The mural – commissioned as part of a series of Art in the metro – can be enjoyed until around November 2022, when it will be replaced by another work of art.

Discover more amazing art from Joy Labinjo on his site.

Last update November 15, 2021

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