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Selwyn Times: November 21, 2017

14 Wednesday

14 Wednesday November 22 2017 Latest Christchurch news at www.star.kiwi Our People SELWYN TIMES Steven Henderson Giving up an international hairdressing CAPTIVATING LIFE: Steven Henderson once had an international hairdressing career working for worldrenowned company KMS Hair before he gave it all away to become a teacher. PHOTO: GILBERT WEALLEANS Ellesmere College teacher Steven Henderson spends his days teaching art and helping his students reach their full potential. But before he was a teacher, Mr Henderson led a successful career in the hairdressing industry. He spoke to Georgia O’Connor-Harding How did your career start out? I had a hairdressing salon here some years ago. So I started off as a hairdresser and I did hair and make-up for stylists on photoshoots before I won southern stylist and male stylist of the year for the Schwarzkopf professional hair expo awards in the 90s. I was asked to do a hairdressing symposium show in Auckland the very next week, which I did, and then I met an international distributing manager for international company KMS Hair. The next week, I was doing a show for 5000 people. The career I had as an artist and director started that way. When did you become involved in art? My career started off as a hairdresser but I started painting and doing art work. I always sold it in design stores with beautiful furniture in Canterbury. In hairdressing, I travelled all through South Africa, America, Australia and New Zealand. I was awarded international artist of the year in South Africa in the late 90s. I toured Australia with KMS Hair. I would always fly to Los Angeles normally or Sydney for photoshoots. I would fly there and they would have agency models. The $10,000-a-day girls. We would style them. And then a month later, I would be driving through Los Angeles and see my work on a billboard. While I was there, I came up with concepts for KMS. When I first got there, I told them you need to make a product called sea salt spray mixed with salt and silicon. I took them a product selling well in New Zealand; said this is popular down under but this is what is wrong with it. It became a No 1 seller. What was it like seeing your work on a billboard? For the first time it was surreal. In America, it was really interesting. I went to hairdressing symposium shows where there were thousands of people in the audience and I had to have security because Americans are fanatic and they all wanted to see the Kiwi. I got up and would show my work and images behind me with massive big screens. I remember one time hopping off the stage thinking ‘I could just walk out with the crowd’ – typical Kiwi mentality. Then the crowd turned on me and pinned me against the stage and the security had to pull me out. I suddenly realised then the level of craziness the people were – how they instantly idolise you if you are from somewhere else or doing something interesting. I was one of the few hairdressers to have my work published in magazine American Salon. It was unheard of in New Zealand to get that. It must have been a crazy experience being swarmed by people? It was really weird. One of the weirdest moments was when I was with a girlfriend of mine in Christchurch. She worked for the company at KMS Hair. We were hanging out together and we were asked to go up to this suite. The man was a big distributor for KMS in America. He said come up to my room and have a few drinks. I was with this lady and said ‘sure I would love to’ being the Kiwi way. Then it became really weird and he was idolising me. I started to realise the profile I was starting to get in America. I got to do photoshoots with Elle magazine and Vogue magazine. Our pre-Christmas exhibition is once again an allwoman gathering of multi-media artists. Whimsical takes on personal themes, each of these artists serve us their ‘Signature Dish’. The exhibition runs for three weeks finishing 18th of December, giving plenty of time to wrap a Christmas gift for someone very special. Lisa Grennell’s work is whimsical, much like a child’s imagination. Designed to make the viewer smile and think of their own childhood, whilst questioning contemporary society and its impact on the environment. ‘The Simple Life’ is inspiration for this new work. Blanche Fryer’s work for this exhibition has been inspired by the anthropomorphic interpretation of the inner life of fish. “We hear of horse whisperers, canine communicators, mammal channelling, but you never hear of a yarn with a fish, excepting if there is a hook on the end. It has been really enjoyable creating these characters and also playing with a few different glazes.” Jane Downes pieces ‘Dwell’, a continuation of her body of work ‘Shelter’. Designed almost completely for function and the upholding of cultural values, offering shelter, protection and observation. These works are also an exploration of form, pattern, scale and light, extending the work through the formation of shadows. Kara Burrowes explains her rationale – “I’m drawn to the layers and history of the urban environment; exposed walls, discarded objects. Often it’s the banal and mundane that sparks an idea, the concept of transforming something quite ordinary into something precious and alluring.” Blanche Fryer’s anthropomorphic interpretation of the inner life of fish. Amy Hoedemakers, “I used sketches from walking down the riverbed and words to begin with or as reference points. I wanted my work to have the feeling of looking into another world, of it stretching on, almost as though you could step into it but having an abstract quality at the same time. Predominantly I’m inspired by the natural world, painted in a mixture of sizes and formats in oils.” 25 November – 18 December Lisa Grennell • Kara Burrowes • Blanche Fryer • Amy Hoedemakers • Jane Downes Main Rd, Little River | 03 325 1944 art@littlerivergallery.com

SELWYN TIMES Latest Christchurch news at www.star.kiwi Wednesday November 22 2017 15 career to inspire high school artists I styled advertisements for those magazines and their billboards. It must have been huge for you having an influence in the fashion industry? I didn’t realise at the time. I just did it. That whole Kiwi mentality. It was not until I gave it all away because I wanted to. I loved it but then the passion disappeared. Because you are up against people, there is a lot of tall-poppy syndrome. Was that what made you decide you had enough? At times, I got glimpses of what it must be like to be a celebrity. Towards the end, I thought I am not sure I want this. I had always wanted to be a creative director globally. Finally, the job was offered to me heading up an agency for Sabre Corporation and I said no. How did you come to be a teacher at Ellesmere College? About 15 years ago, I became disheartened with the work I was doing. I had not lost the love of the craft, rather I became tired of dealing with the public. At that time, I had taken to producing art works as a creative outlet, at the time it was purely for me. An artist friend saw my work and talked me into a joint STYLE: One of the winning images for the Schwarzkopf professional hair expo awards which named Steven Henderson southern stylist of the year. art exhibition. Reluctantly, I agreed and produced several works which sold. I felt like somewhat of a fraud as I did not have any training or, at that time, a degree in art. So began the journey of acquiring an arts degree. When I completed this, it seemed natural to me to gain a post-grad in secondary school education, which I did. Teaching came naturally. My first teaching job was in a small Northland school made up of predominately Maori students. My partner and I had moved to Northland from Christchurch to develop a 15 acre (6ha) water-front peninsular we had bought several years earlier. However, we did not love the far north, we missed Canterbury. Ellesmere College was near by and it was my intention to work part-time. After one year, because of vacancies, I had become fulltime teaching an array of subjects. Tell me about your love for gardening? We bought a heritage property, which was 150-years-old, which came with a very overgrown garden and so it has taken a lot of my time to try to bring that garden back; to reinvent it. The Ellesmere Garden Tour is coming up – it is the first time the house is being seen. It hasn’t ever been opened to the public. What is the name of the heritage property? Thornycroft in Brookside. Brookside is named after the Brooks family and it’s actually their original homestead. The earthquakes happened and we felt compelled to move back to Christchurch. My partner and I came back and our house was ruined in town. This house just happened to be for sale. We drove up the driveway and it was love at first site. Where did you grow up? I grew up in a small town called Ngongotaha (Bay of Plenty) with a family of nine brothers and four sisters and a solo mum. I went to a rugby school. Can you imagine me coming out of that. Creativity was hushed up. I came out of Western Heights High School. How did you cope? You were most certainly ostracised. As a young boy, my saviour was finding like-minded creative people. I never found it in my school, I was horribly bullied. As soon as I could leave I fled that high school. I left at 15 and went off to the big city and held down three jobs. One was a hairdressing apprenticeship at Blitz Hair Design. I worked at a nursery and I worked in a hotel lugging suitcases for Chinese tourists. I set up my first hairdressing salon in Rotorua called Ragged in the 80s, which was incredibly successful. Then I went to Auckland before coming to Christchurch. How are you finding teaching at Ellesmere College? I teach some of the art programme. I teach tourism and my absolute all-time favourite – teaching those kids who struggle with their learning. What is the one lesson you pass onto your students? I was once asked what makes you so successful and I went, being able to laugh at it. Getting a laugh out of the day and not taking it too seriously. For those kids who don’t have much, who have been bullied – I am that perfect teacher who can actually connect with them. I have experienced the poverty of being in a big family with a single mother. I had experienced extreme bullying because I am a gay man. I have experienced discrimination. BE A GOOD NEIGHBOUR Fri Dec 1st 9.30pm till late Playing Live Acoustic Solutions Your fence, your style! 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