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A Perspective on Subversive Beauty with Umber Ghauri

  • Free
  • Workshop
  • British Sign Language
  • Speech-to-text
Photo of people seated at a table using glue stick and scissors with paper
Beauty Study Day, Kathleen Rundell. Source: Wellcome Collection. Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0).

What you’ll do

Join multi-disciplinary artist and writer Umber Ghauri for a discussion and workshop about the possibilities of makeup beyond normative beauty standards, inspired by ‘The Cult of Beauty’ exhibition.

In a short presentation Umber will introduce the themes and demonstrate various ways of producing creative makeup looks. They will guide you to think about playful self-expression and subversion rather than established, normative beauty standards.

You will then have the opportunity to create your own makeup looks on paper face charts. All art materials will be provided.

You’re invited to explore ‘The Cult of Beauty’ in your own time. The exhibition is at its quietest on weekdays and weekend mornings. It is particularly busy on Saturdays.

When you arrive, tell a member of staff that you are a ticket holder for this event. You will be offered a wristband that gives you free timed entry to the exhibition, before or after Umber’s workshop.

Additional information

Please be advised that the artist is requesting all participants wear a face mask during the workshop, for their own health reasons. Face masks will be provided.



Need to know


We’ll be in the Forum. To get there, take the lift or stairs up to level 1 and then follow the signs through the ‘Being Human’ gallery.

Place not guaranteed

Booking a ticket for a free event does not guarantee you a place. You should aim to arrive 15 minutes before the event is scheduled to start to claim your place. If you do not arrive on time, your place may be given to someone on the waiting list.

British Sign Language

This event will have British Sign Language interpretation.


This event will be live-transcribed, with text displayed on a large screen.

For more information, please visit our Accessibility page. If you have any queries about accessibility, please email us at access@wellcomecollection.org or call 0 2 0. 7 6 1 1. 2 2 2 2

Our event terms and conditions

About your artist

Umber Ghauri


Umber Ghauri is a multi-disciplinary artist and writer. Umber is Muslim, queer, agender and Pakistani. After attending the Courtauld Institute and earning a BA in the History of Art, they chose to pursue a role within the production of art and visual culture representing marginalised communities. Umber worked primarily as a makeup artist from 2014 to 2021, choosing to create an environment that recognises the responsibility and intimacy of this role. Due to the inaccessible and exploitative nature of continuing to practise makeup artistry, Umber is focusing on writing and creating visual art.