Sam Jacob Studio has completed the refurbishment of the DKUK gallery in south-east London. The tiny venue is run by artist and hairdresser Daniel Kelly and serves as both an art gallery and a hair salon, so now customers stare at artworks rather than their reflections while they get a trim.
“Usually the way we look is conceived differently in a gallery or a salon,” explains Sam Jacob. “This design explores the act of looking through the use of frames, translucencies, perforations and reflections. The space also considers how we are seen (or not) just as much as how we see.“
The interior scheme uses commercial references, such as the slatwall wall display system, as gallery display mechanisms. “The mirror, often the central device of a hair salon and filled with our own reflection, is used here as a spatial device, multiplying and altering the experience of the space,” says Jacob. “The tiny space – London’s smallest gallery at 2m x 5m – is transformed into a complex viewing device as well as a beautiful space to get your hair cut.”
To coincide with DKUK’s re-launch, Sam Jacob Studio has created ‘Make It Real’ an exhibition of recent experiments in architecture and representation. The show explores design’s ambiguous position between imagination and reality through the t-shirts printed as building facades, soil pipes gilded in 24 carat gold, chairs made out of putty and a new sound piece recorded in the Whispering Gallery of St Paul’s Cathedral.
all images © Jim Stephenson