Image: Casey Orr
Most of us have cried over our hair at least once; it is quite literally the crowning glory of our personal aesthetic and one which we tirelessly cultivate. We chop, dye, curl, straighten then make it artfully messy again. Casey Orr’s exhibition ‘Saturday Girl’ at Gallery Munro House centres around the colourful demographic of Leeds’ Saturday shoppers and their hairstyles, capturing this collision of rituals and the way that young women use their hair to define themselves.
The exhibition is, as expected, a colourful one, the portraiture set against an array of candy bright colours, adding even more visual salience to the girl’s hair styles. Orr crystallises the energy of walking down New Briggate on a dismal Leeds Saturday, the pavestones a curious kind of runway. The variety of colour, style, texture and personality is encouragingly diverse and yet Orr’s work also displays a simultaneous astuteness towards fashion that encourages a fierce kind of tribalism.
Hair in her photography is mussed, back-combed and vibrant and yet she also manages to capture the vulnerability behind the beehive; youthful confidence in style is accompanied by an examination of the struggle to self define and find oneself. The hyper HD lens lays bare imperfect blemishes and bruises, often capturing a slightly nervous glance towards camera, perhaps a thoughtful antithesis to the gratifying ‘selfie’ culture which often masks a rawer beauty.