It feels odd for me to write about facial hair at such length, let alone about a photographic exhibitiondedicated to it. Only a few years ago, if a man were to sport a full blown beard, he would have instigated some curious looks from his friends, but now the beard is one of the most popular things for men to have, and a good thing too I say, I mean it’s a lot less expensive accessory than a Lamborghini or pair of Hudson boots. Featuring 80 sharp, richly hued photographs by Brock Elbank, this exhibition is about highlighting the history and heritage of beards, as well being just style statements.

Ricki Hall by Brock Elbank

Elbank has photographed a number of individuals, each with differing styles of facial hair, including the legendary actor John Hurt, tattoo artist Miles Better and numerous models. The photos are heavily styled but at the same time personal, giving us some a glimpse into each subjects personality.

Above: Brock Elbank Below: Photo from #Project60 by Brock Elbank

The main goal of the Somerset House Beard Exhibition is to help raise awareness for #Project60 a campaign which forms part of Beard Season, highlighting the fight against skin cancer. Beard Season was started up by model Scott Maggs aka Jimmy Niggles, who began growing his beard to raise awareness of skin cancer after his friend died from melanoma. He will only shave it off when someone donates more than £500,000.

Above: Miles Better by Brock Elbank Below: John Hurt by Brock Elbank

A fun celebration of the beard, in all its many shapes and sizes, this exhibition also shows just what sort of photographic talent Brock Elbank is.

Beard at Somerset House runs from 5th to 29th March.

All photos courtesy of Brock Elbank and Somerset House.