grace wales bonner

Fashion designer Grace Wales Bonner shares the mysticism, ritual and magical resonances within black cultural and aesthetic practices that inspire her work.

date Jan 19 - Feb 16, 2019

date Serpentine Gallery

Fashion designer Grace Wales Bonner has been known for her thoughtful works, where she incorporates her British-Jamaican heritage into her creations. An exhibition that will open on January 19 at Serpentine Gallery, London, will let audience delve deeper into her inspirations and the process of her designs.

Visit the venue’s website for more information.

19 january - 16 february 2019; grace wales bonner exhibition; london, england; globetrotter magazine - body.jpg

From the organizer:
Grace Wales Bonner explores mysticism, ritual and magical resonances within black cultural and aesthetic practices. Over the course of one month, a multi-sensory installation and a series of happenings will invite contemplation and activate the spaces of the Serpentine.

The exhibition will include a series of site-specific shrines by Kapwani KiwangaEric N. MackPaul Mpagi Sepuya and Grace Wales Bonner. The musician Laraaji will lead a series of meditation workshops during the exhibition’s opening days that will become a lasting shrine of sound within the space, whilst Rashid Johnson’s installations using carpets will create a sense of grounding throughout the Gallery. Interested in the improvisation, intentionality and repurposing of shrines from the Black Atlantic, Wales Bonner will draw upon their relational nature, as material portals into multiple worlds and frames of experience. Referencing the images and rhythms of rituals and ceremonies from all over the world, she collapses time and space by bringing them into dialogue to create her own unique constellation.

This exhibition focuses on Wales Bonner’s rigorous research across multiple geographies and temporalities, culminating in the presentation of her forthcoming Autumn/Winter 2019 collection, Mumbo Jumbo. Conjuring and exploring various characters, their dress, and the worlds and spaces they inhabit, the collection considers the artist as shaman, a West African spiritual healer, and a gathering of Howard University intellectuals. 

Born in London to an English mother and Jamaican father, Wales Bonner is a cultural polymath, who sees fashion as a means of communicating broad and interwoven notions of identity and self-expression. Each of her fashion collections is a meditation on cultural narratives, bringing together literary references with exceptional craftsmanship, and presented within carefully considered scenography. Writing, research and performance are integral elements of her practice, which she synthesises through continued collaborations with other practitioners, bridging multiple disciplines and genres.