Ibrahim Mahama to Wrap Barbican in 2,000 sqm of Fabric | News

Source Credit:  Content and images from Ocula Magazine.  Read the original article - https://ocula.com/magazine/art-news/ibrahim-mahama-to-wrap-barbican-in-fabric/

The new commission, Purple Hibiscus, takes its name from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s 2003 novel.

Ibrahim Mahama to Wrap Barbican in 2,000 sqm of Fabric

Ibrahim Mahama, Purple Hibiscus (2023–24). Courtesy Ibrahim Mahama, Red Clay Tamale, Barbican Centre, London, and White Cube.

Part of the Barbican’s brutalist concrete exterior will be draped in 2,000 square metres of fabric in a new commission by Ghanaian artist Ibrahim Mahama. The commission will cover the London art centre’s Lakeside Terrace when it’s installed in April.

Mahama has previously used jute sacks—a symbol of global commerce—to cover public buildings including Ghana’s national theatre and the old toll booths of Milan’s Porta Venezia.

This time he’s collaborating with hundreds of craftspeople to create Purple Hibiscus, which is made up of woven pink and purple panels stitched together by hand.

Ibrahim Mahama, Purple Hibiscus (2023–24).

Ibrahim Mahama, Purple Hibiscus (2023–24). Courtesy Ibrahim Mahama, Red Clay Tamale, Barbican Centre, London, and White Cube.

The panels are embroidered with around 100 ‘batakaris’—robes worn by Ghanaian kings. Gathered from villages across Ghana, the robes memorialise the lives, lineage, and power of those who wore them.

The work also speaks to the Barbican’s location on the site of the Cripplegate parish, which was a major hub for the production and sale of cloth prior to World War II.

In a statement, the Barbican noted that Mahama chose the commission’s pink and purple colours as ‘an expression of allyship with marginalised communities.’

A bill that would criminalise LGBT+ sex, ban gay marriage, and impose prison terms on people advocating for LGBT+ rights received unanimous support in Ghana’s parliament last year.

Ibrahim Mahama, Purple Hibiscus (2023–24).

Ibrahim Mahama, Purple Hibiscus (2023–24). Courtesy Ibrahim Mahama, Red Clay Tamale, Barbican Centre, London, and White Cube.

The novel the work is named after, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Purple Hibiscus (2003), also hints at a concern with tyranny. It relates the story of a Nigerian family subject to beatings and psychological torment by its cruel and punitive Catholic patriarch.

‘At a time of increasing fracture and disharmony, Mahama, with this monumental site-specific artwork – the second in our newly launched commission series – will transform the Barbican’s iconic Lakeside into a site and space for the commemoration of community, intergenerational memory and solidarity, all achieved by the incredible capabilities and capacity of the human hand,’ said Shanay Jhaveri, Head of Visual Arts at the Barbican.

The Barbican Art Gallery’s related exhibition Unravel: The Power and Politics of Textiles in Art (13 February–26 May) will feature works by Sheila Hicks, Teresa Margolles, Harmony Hammond, Mrinalini Mukherjee, and Cecilia Vicuña, among others. —[O]

Source Credit:  Content and images from Ocula Magazine.  Read the original article - https://ocula.com/magazine/art-news/ibrahim-mahama-to-wrap-barbican-in-fabric/