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Page last updated at 12:54 GMT, Wednesday, 15 September 2010 13:54 UK
Manchester's best beards come together for charity
Louis Barabbas
Musician Louis Barabbas is amongst those to be snapped by Samantha

Anyone who has walked around Manchester will know the city's men are sporting more than their fair share of beards.

That fact hasn't passed by Samantha Bail, an artist who has decided to document the facial fur on display.

Her project, Beards of Manchester, will bring together the best of Manchester's hirsute gentlemen for an art exhibition and charity calendar.

Samantha said she thought it would be "amazing to capture a snapshot of these beards."

Both the exhibition and the calendar will grow out of a website that the artist has set up with fellow beard enthusiast, Chris Horkan.

The pair are inviting the Mancunian public to send in pictures of their own beards and those of their friends and family.

Samantha said the idea sprang out of a conversation she had with a friend.

"We realised there was loads of beardy people in Manchester.

The waxed ones, the curly Victorian moustaches, the pointy ones - just anything interesting that would make a good calendar beard
Samantha Bail

"We thought it would be amazing to capture a snapshot of these beards and have an art exhibition.

"I talked about that to Chris, and he said he was thinking the same, but that he'd like to make a calendar out of this.

"So I thought 'why don't we just team up?'"

'Particularly exciting beards'

That is exactly what they have done and work is well underway on the project, which includes Samantha wandering the streets of the city with a camera waiting to find beards.

It isn't just her photos that will be considered for the eventual exhibition though.

She said that anyone with facial hair - be it a beard or a moustache - is welcome to send their snaps into the team for consideration.

Justin Moorhouse
Comedian Justin Moorhouse submitted his beard to the site

She added that they are in the preliminary stages of the project at the moment, gathering beards on the website - and from that online gallery, they'll choose the 12 to appear in the calendar.

That said, she did admit that they are looking for something special in the beards that are submitted.

"We're looking for the particularly exciting beards, like the waxed ones, the curly Victorian moustaches, the pointy ones - just anything interesting that would make a good calendar beard."

The judging of who is included in the exhibition will be done by Samantha, Chris and "a bearded celebrity" that they'll be inviting to have their say and the final 12 will be invited to a professional shoot by photographer Gill Moore.

The art exhibition produced from that session will be on the walls of a Northern Quarter bar in late October and the subsequent calendar will go on sale at the same time.

Proceeds from the calendar will be given to Lifeshare, a charity that supports homeless people in Manchester.

Beards of Manchester is at Common on Edge Street from Thursday 21 October




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